Govan Law Centre highlights positive year for housing and homelessness assistance

Govan Law Centre (GLC) has highlighted the positive impact it has had providing assistance in housing, employment, debt, welfare rights and legal work in its newly published annual report.

According to the report, GLC handled 6,000 cases, took on 1,500 new clients and appeared in courts and tribunals 1,000 times.

Homelessness was resolved or prevented in 724 cases, and housing cost affordability improved for 260 clients with 837 clients overall benefiting from financial capability and money advice.

Assistance was also provided to 207 clients who were in temporary accommodation, sleeping rough or of no fixed abode.

The total housing debt handled for the 2018/19 period was £4,843,187, with £578,111 non-housing debt, and the financial gains achieved £388,688.

Elsewhere GLC has secured core funding of over £1 million from the Oak Foundation, to be dispensed over a five-year period to 2023.

The report states this will “enable us to introduce a strategic five-year business plan, upgrade our IT and case management systems, expand our services and maximise good outcomes for vulnerable people in Scotland”.

The centre has also secured funding from the Legal Education Foundation (LEF) to trial a Virtual Law Centre Partnership (VLCP) using video conferencing and secure document scanning technology. It is working closely with Argyll and Bute Council and other local Argyll and Bute partners to test the VLCP model. The centre also presently has two-trainee solicitors/Justice First Fellows, funded by LEF, the Royal Bank of Scotland plc, and GLC.

Last year, its national Education Law Unit (ELU) secured funding for a further three years for its strategic litigation project across Scotland. GLC also won a three-year contract under a competitive tender with the Scottish government for its ‘Let’s Talk ASN Scotland’ project serving Scotland, in partnership with Barnardo’s, the UK’s largest children’s charity.

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