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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

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Emergency summit called on housing refugees

This news post is almost 9 years old

​Charity and housing associations discuss practical steps that can be taken in response to the refugee crisis

An emergency meeting has been held so that Scottish housing associations can agree a practical and immediate response to the refugee crisis in Europe.

The summit is being hosted by Positive Action in Housing (PAIH), the homelessness refugee and migrant charity, which has been providing shelter and crisis grants through its network of accommodation volunteers.

At the meeting, which is taking place today (Tuesday, 8 September), attendees will look at how they can accommodate any refugees arriving in Scotland.

Robina Qureshi, director of PAIH, said: “We have been inundated with offers of assistance from housing associations, and now want to build on that goodwill.

Housing associations have houses and refugees need shelter

“Housing associations have houses. Refugees need temporary shelter. Positive Action in Housing is able to offer crisis grants to those without recourse to public funds, on-going pastoral support and an intensive support plan to assist people to find resolution of their cases, and stability in Glasgow and other parts of Scotland.

“If the present momentum continues, then we have the capacity to assist hundreds of people in Glasgow and across Scotland without putting anyone out. This is a rich country and we have more than enough to share with others who lost everything, even their children.

“We have been in discussion with Jim Strang, director of Parkhead Housing Association, Shona Stephen, director of Queens Cross, and Robert Tamburrini, director of NG homes, all personally committed to meeting this crisis head on, and supporters of Positive Action in Housing. There are many others who want to see how we can collectively deliver.

“It’s not insurmountable so long as the will exists. This meeting is about nailing down our collective capacity, identifying what can be done and what we can practically offer in the short term to medium term. Long term plans will be laid down in due course with aim of providing a collective housing response to the growing refugee crisis. Support is required across Glasgow and other parts of Scotland and it’s my belief that we can galvanise further voluntary effort to support this brand new endeavour.”

Jim Strang, director of Parkhead Housing Association, who is chairing the meeting, added: “The social housing sector cannot simply turn its head away from this growing humanitarian crisis. We have a role to play and hopefully as a sector we can respond positively.”