WHEN you walk about Glasgow city centre, what do you see?

On one side, we have the cultural vibrance and historic pride of our Dear Green Place, and on the other, a burgeoning crisis of homelessness.

The issue at hand is not an invisible one; it confronts us daily, etched in the faces and plight of those without a roof over their heads.

Last year, Labour offered a plan – the Empty Homes Working Group, tasked with creating an action plan by 2023 to utilise vacant properties in alleviating our housing shortage.

Yet, in a disappointing twist that borders on farce that only the SNP-Greens could be in charge of, the meetings meant to ignite this initiative are only just taking place. 

With housing pressures mounting, such procrastination is not just frustrating, it is unacceptable.

At the last full council, the Housing Taskforce by Labour was a call to arms, a necessary response to the intertwined challenges of increasing homelessness and the predicted escalation in housing demand spurred by expedited asylum application decisions.

Yet, this proposal was quashed by the SNP-Green coalition, in a move that seems to prioritise politics over the basic needs of our citizens.

As it stands, we are still discussing the feasibility of alternatives to bed and breakfast accommodation.

It’s baffling, truly, given the evident failings of the current system have been apparent for years. Glasgow’s streets offer cold comfort to those seeking refuge, as the transient nature of B&Bs and hotels serves only as a costly and inadequate plaster over a gaping societal wound.

The funds spent on these temporary solutions scream of missed opportunities for investment in permanent social housing.

Moreover, the Strategic Housing Investment Plan (SHIP) paper, recently unfurled, was a hollow echo rather than a call to action.

It lacked substance on improving homelessness services or on housing solutions for those experiencing fast-tracked asylum decisions.

It is not simply a question of stating the problem but providing detailed, actionable and funded strategies to tackle it head on.

The situation calls for a fresh and invigorated approach.

We must employ every mechanism at our disposal to offer secure, enduring homes to the most vulnerable in our society.

The status quo is unacceptable, with an increase in the numbers of people trapped in temporary accommodations, a situation that is both a moral and economic blight on our city.

Glasgow is at a juncture that demands more than workshops and reports – it demands action. 

It requires an unyielding pursuit of solutions that provides not just shelter, but homes where life can be rebuilt.

The time for planning and talking has gone; what Glasgow needs now is the kind of decisive action that will pull its people back from the precipice.

Something that can only be achieved by an administration that is interested in their city rather than in vanity projects and constitutional issues that they have no power over.  

It is a demand for immediacy, for progress that is tangible, and for a resolve that turns the tide on this crisis.

We can do better, we must do better, Glasgow deserves better.