Homelessness in Glasgow has reached a point where it must be declared an emergency, according to the councillor in charge of the services.

Councillors are being asked to take the step as the number of people in temporary accommodation has been growing, the number in B&Bs has been growing and a big rise in homelessness is expected this winter.

The UK Home Office said it will be accelerating asylum claims in batches which is expected to see a rise in people becoming homeless.

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If people are granted a positive decision they will have 28 days to leave their accommodation provided by Home Office contractor Mears.

If they can’t find somewhere to live in that time they are referred to the council’s homelessness team.

Allan Casey, City Convenor for Workforce, Homelessness and Addiction Services, is proposing declaring the housing emergency.

His motion states the council: “Acknowledge the severe pressures that Glasgow City Council and the Health and Social Care Partnership are facing, and formally declare the pressures are such that they constitute a housing emergency.”

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He has called for agreement to “continue to lobby Scottish and UK Governments for the appropriate funding and legislative changes required to respond to it”.

It has been estimated that the asylum application acceleration could cost the council £53million next year to respond, with the Home Office stating it will not provide any funding to help.

As well as an increase in people granted permission to stay there is also a growing number of claims being refused.

This means there are more people who are not entitled to public support classed as ‘No recourse to public funds’ (NRPF) and the council expects to see a rise in rough sleeping as a result.

The increased number of asylum seekers is on top of an already growing number of people seeking help because they are homeless.

Casey highlighted the strain on homelessness services in the city.

He said: “In addition to the specific pressures relating to asylum decisions, in July 2023, there were 969 approaches for housing advice and homelessness assistance made to the HSCP via our Health and Social Care Connect (HSCC) and locality homelessness services.

In August, this increased to 1,269 approaches with a further 1,047 approaches in September and 1,174 approaches in October.

“Whilst the HSCP successfully continues to prevent homelessness, where possible, this increased demand will inevitably lead to a higher number of homelessness applications and households in temporary accommodation.”

The combined effect of more asylum decisions and local people becoming homeless has meant more people in B&Bs leading to the council being in breach of unsuitable accommodation orders.

Campaigners have been calling for a Housing emergency to be declared in the city for some time.

Sean Clerkin, campaign coordinator for Scottish Tenants Organisation wrote to Susan Aitken, council leader.

He said: “We are beyond the tipping point in Glasgow with an already broken system with 6,588 homeless people stuck in squalid and substandard temporary accommodation with 2,624 of them being children whose physical and mental health will be disintegrating in such conditions.

“Homeless men, women and children are stuck in hellhole hotels and bed and breakfast accommodation with no inhouse wrap-around services with 21 dying in temporary accommodation in 2023.

“There have been over 2,200 breaches of the Unsuitable Accommodation Order in these squalid hotels whose owners profit from the misery of the homeless, therefore we say again that the homeless services system is truly broken.”