Govanhill Law Centre

For appointment please call 0141 433 2665

Govanhill Law Centre (GhLC) opened in 2008 in Scotland’s most ethnically diverse areas. We were delighted that GhLC was opened by Lord Advocate, Eilish Angiolini

The original funders included: Scottish Government, Oxfam and the trade union Unison. Our work in Govanhill is now funded by Scottish Government’s Equality funding and we provide some services funded by Glasgow City Council in north east of city. Core funding has been secured to June 2020.

Govanhill is on the Southside of Glasgow and when we opened the law centre it was a bid to tackle private sector slum landlords and agency gangmasters. GhLC’s aim is still to “root out discrimination and exploitation” and improve the wellbeing of local people.

We provide the full range of GLC legal services. However the high percentage of private landlords in the area creates a different working environment to that of the main office at Govan. We employ a part time caseworker with vital community language skills, and she has built up a position of trust within the community. Govanhill continues to deal with a large number of emergency illegal evictions, which is very intensive and time-consuming work.

When we launched Govanhill had some of the most severe housing problems in the UK, with an estimated 750 slum flats. We have been working hard with partner agencies to improve the lives of people in Govanhill. And we have been part of a long campaign which has made significant progress, we still have a lot of work in the area, there are still significant problems in the area. But there are clearly improvements too.

The local population is ethnically mixed and has the biggest concentration of Roma families in Scotland. Up to 3,000 people from Roma families, mostly Slovakians, are believed to live in the area.

We provide outreach services across the community. We provide services at The Well, two legal clinics a week are provided at Greater Easterhouse Money Advice Project and a weekly clinic at Bridgeton Library. We have a dedicated home visiting service provided to North East Carers. And we regularly attend local community group meetings.

We have an excellent relationship with the police. The police now support us in handling illegal evictions and criminal landlords. With our support, clients have given statements to the police and several landlords are now being prosecuted.

Govanhill is designated as an Enhanced Enforcement Area. This gives Glasgow City Council (GCC) greater powers to investigate housing conditions. Glasgow City Council do use legal powers to deal with particularly problematic properties

The team at Govanhill Law Centre have worked hard to create a good working relationships with all the agencies we work with and to assist our clients particularly those living in poor housing.

Our work in Govanhill Law Centre

We increased our case work by more than 10% on last year. We meet regularly with elected representatives to lobby for improvements to the area. We have been held with local councillors, Alison Thewliss MP and Nicola Sturgeon MSP, First Minister, to progress client cases.

There is 36% private sector housing in Govanhill, 62% of our clients are in the private rented sector, 60% of the casework deals with housing issues – evictions, illegal evictions, and properties below the tolerable standard, 31% of our clients are disabled and 78% of our clients are BME with 75% having English as a second language or requiring an interpreter

The service is provided by the Principal Solicitor, Service Manager, Senior Solicitor, Solicitor, trainee solicitor, homelessness caseworker, part time caseworker, legal clerical officer and law student volunteers.

Govanhill Law Centre prevents ‘instant’ eviction of family of EU citizens without notice in Glasgow

Deprivation in Govanhill

Govanhill remains one of Scotland’s most deprived communities in Scotland

  • 9 of the 12 data zones are in the bottom 30% of data zones in Scotland
  • 4 of the 12 data zones are in the bottom 15% of data zones in Scotland
  • 1 of the 12 data zones is in the bottom 5% of data zones in Scotland
  • 3,796 (25.6%) of the adult population is described as income deprived
  • 2,300 (22.5%) of those of employment age are employment deprived
  • 5,769 (38.2%) of adults do not have any qualifications.

Govanhill has a large housing density, and overcrowding and high levels of occupancy remain an issue. The south west of Govanhill is one of the most densely populated areas in Scotland. This places strain on local infrastructure and adds to environmental problems and other social issues.

The truth about Govanhill, the most demonised neighbourhood in Scotland … by the people who live there

To contact us please call: 0141 433 2665

Where to find us:

Govanhill Law Centre Samaritan House, 79 Coplaw St, Glasgow G42 7JG (we are in the basement of the Govanhill Housing Association)