Activists occupying former Glasgow homeless shelter taken to court

Activists occupying a former council homeless shelter are being taken to court today in a bid to force their eviction.

Activists have occupied the former Hamish Allan Centre.

Campaigners took over the old Hamish Allan Centre, which they have named Baile Hoose, during COP26, to house protesters who were struggling to find accommodation.

They now say it is a community project, offering “practical solutions to the housing crisis” and the continued occupation is “in protest against the lack of accessible and emergency accommodation in Glasgow”.

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A spokesperson for Baile Hoose said the group will ask for a postponement to allow time to seek “appropriate legal representation”.

But Glasgow City Council does not believe the building is fit for habitation, and has said there are fire safety concerns.

It has asked that a 21 day notice period is dismissed so the eviction can take place earlier.

Activists at Baile Hoose, who have gained support from politicians and were visited by former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn during COP26, have raised more than £1,800 towards legal fees.

The spokesperson, known as Betty, said the campaign has “significant public and political support, including elected members on both Glasgow City Council and the Scottish Government”.

“We are confident that the appointed Sheriff in the case will accept the legal arguments which we have raised with them and confident that they will issue a postponement to allow for time to seek appropriate legal representation.

“We again would like to thank everyone who has shown support for Baile Hoose and for the continued messages and kind words which have been shared with us.”

Green MSPs Maggie Chapman and Ross Greer have said they “stand in solidarity” with the occupiers and called for the attempted eviction to be halted.

“We recognise the work these activists have done in supporting people attending the recent COP26, and their commitment and desire to see buildings such as the Hamish Allan Centre brought back into community use, as accommodation or for other public benefit purposes.

“Not only would this provide much needed housing and other facilities for people, but would also ensure buildings are not lost to dereliction.”

Green councillor Jon Molyneux has written to the council’s chief executive to ask for a “negotiated outcome”.

Scottish Labour North East MSP Mercedes Villalba said the Scottish Government should intervene to “ensure that occupants are not left without accommodation, or risk adding to the threat of rising homelessness this winter”.

A council spokesperson has said the Hamish Allan Centre was shut down as “it did not provide acceptable accommodation at that time” and that residents were moved to more appropriate properties.

“The council did not provide access to the building and it’s concerning that people are still in the building.”