Scottish Labour’s Pam Duncan-Glancy MSP has warned that the Scottish Government risks letting Ukrainians down if accommodation isn’t found for those still on-board MS Ambition.
It comes following an admission from Glasgow City Council leader Susan Aitken that it is unlikely suitable homes will be found and has shifted responsibility for doing so on to the Scottish Government.
The SNP’s Glasgow leader confirmed in a letter to Pam Duncan-Glancy MSP that due to Glasgow’s ongoing housing shortfall, ‘it remains unlikely that those residing on the ship will secure settled housing association properties following their disembarkation.”
Last month, the Scottish Government confirmed that it’s contract for MS Ambition, currently docked at Braehead, is due to be terminated as of 31st March meaning the ship will cease to serve as welcome accommodation beyond that date.
Updated figures published by the Scottish Government today reveal that a total of 995 Ukrainians currently remain onboard the ship, occupying 475 cabins.
Only 505 individuals have disembarked the ship since September, raising questions about the feasibility of relocating those who remain on board by the 31st of March.
Pam Duncan-Glancy MSP:
“People in Glasgow and across Scotland should be proud of the way that they opened their hearts and their homes to those fleeing Ukraine in the face of Russian Aggression.
“As we mark one year since the war began, it’s important that we don’t let those efforts slide. Failing to find accommodation for the hundreds still on board the temporary ship accommodation would be seriously letting down Ukrainians who have come to Scotland on the promise of sanctuary – to me that involves housing as a bare minimum.
“I was deeply concerned by the announcement last month that MS Ambition will no longer be operating as welcome accommodation. It was always far from ideal to keep refugees on ships for months on end, but it will be even worse if they are forced to disembark before suitable, stable alternative accommodation is put in place.”
“Now that Glasgow City Council has confirmed it just does not have the available resources to resettle the 505 individuals that remain on board, the Scottish Government must step up, work with local authorities and ensure that not a single person leaves that ship without having a home to go to.”
Scottish Government figures on Ukrainian Resettlement Scheme: