A SOLUTION to homelessness used in the USA and Finland could be the answer to Glasgow’s problem according to one charity.

The Housing First model has been used extensively in Finland and America and has been successfully used on a smaller scale in Glasgow.

Patrick Mackay, of Turning Point Scotland said so far it has had an undeniable success rate.

The model involves, instead of making people go through stages to prove they are ready to hold down a tenancy, they are given a property to live in first of all.

Then all the relevant social support services are put in place to ensure they have all the help they need to live a stable life.

Mr Mackay said since 2011 Turning Point has put 42 people though this system.

He said: “We have a group of people who have the most complex needs and the more and more we are learning about them we find they are the most challenging to engage.”

He said: “Turning point Scotland was the first organisation to use their own money and some Big Lottery money to set up a housing first service.

“It might sound really simple but its radical and it says we are going to take people from the street and we are going to give them accommodation.”

He said the crucial point was the people need the right level of intensive support to maintain the tenancy.

Mr Mackay said Housing First would radically change homelessness.

He said: “People on the streets very often were not engaging with social work.

“We have 42 Housing First tenancies. If it was me I would have 500. I would take those people with complex needs, give them accommodation and give them the right type of support.”

He said 13 social landlords in the city were providing Housing First tenancies and Turning Point gives the support.

Mr Mackay added: “It been going since 2011 so it’s a mature service, and to date we haven’t had an eviction.”

He said the majority of people who are homeless are not sleeping on the streets and are homeless because of a shortage of housing.

A spokesman for Glasgow City Council said: “The Housing First approach to tackling homelessness is growing steadily within the city and it is something that we wish to see extended still further.

“There is strong evidence that shows that Housing First is an effective way to help people move on from homelessness and expanding Housing First is now fully embedded in our long term strategy.

“We are also working to attract substantial outside funding into the city which would support the move towards Housing First.”