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 UNISON the public services trade union. 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.
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 legal services. However the high percentage of private landlords in the area creates a different working environment to that of our Govan office. We employ a part time caseworker with vital community language skills, and she has built up a position of trust within the community. Govanhill Law Centre also continues to deal with a large number of emergency illegal evictions, which is 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 but there are many improvements too.
The local population is the most ethnically mixed in Scotland. It has the biggest concentration of Roma families in Scotland. Up to 3,000 people from Roma families, mostly Slovakians, live in the area. 75% of our clients are BME with English as a second language or requiring an interpreter.
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. Govanhill remains one of Scotland’s most deprived communities in Scotland. This places strain on local infrastructure and adds to environmental problems and other social issues.
We work with partners to provide outreach services, legal clinics worl across the community including legal clinics. We also work in the north east of the Glasgow with partners including Greater Easterhouse Money Advice Project and, for example, Bridgeton Library. We have a dedicated home visiting service provided to North East Carers.
62% of our clients are in the private rented sector, 60% of our casework deals with housing issues – evictions, illegal evictions, and properties below the tolerable standard.
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.
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)