Plans by Govanhill Housing Association to buy and repair poor quality private housing in Govanhill are being pushed forward this week.
The Association will send around 600 letters to all property owners in a target area of four tenement blocks in south-west Govanhill. The letters include information about the plans and contact details for those interested in selling their properties.
Also this week, the first two meetings are being held with owners in the blocks. Around 50 owners and private landlords have expressed an interest in selling to the Association as part of the South-West Govanhill Property Acquisition and Repair Programme.
John McLardie, Chairperson of the Association, said the aim of the programme is to provide better living conditions and tackle overcrowding. With private sector housing subject to little regulation, it also aims to deliver a more effective system of property management and maintenance. He added:
“Sending letters out to all the owners and beginning to meet them is a big step forward. A staff team has been visiting and assessing every close in the target area to identify any issues and build relationships with residents and tenants, and this is the next phase of the plan.
“This is a two-year pilot programme that will begin to take properties out of private ownership and into the social rented sector.
“It is a positive way forward and we are keen to see how well it works on the ground. But it is likely that a more comprehensive approach will be needed in the future if a sustainable solution is to be delivered.”
The initiative will initially involve the Association buying, repairing, letting and then managing up to 80 properties from private owners and landlords in four tenement blocks between Annette Street, Dixon Avenue, Westmoreland Street and Calder Street. It will also take on factoring where it has majority ownership.
The Scottish Government has provided a grant of £4.3 million to purchase and improve the properties for social letting. Glasgow City Council will supplement the funding with £5 million from its affordable homes and property repairs budgets, and will be working in partnership with the Association in using its statutory powers to support change.
The Association currently owns around 40 properties in the target area. It provides factoring services in five tenements, and expects to factor more.
The Association is keen to work closely with all those living in the area and we would urge anyone with any questions to get in touch on 0141 636 3674 or 3684 or email email@example.com.
ENDS 14 August 2015
Notes to editors:
- Established in 1974, Govanhill Housing Association is a community controlled and owned housing association, which owns and manages more than 2,300 homes and provides a factoring service to a further 1,150 owners.
- Govanhill has an estimated population of 15,000, although the increase in migrant workers to the area is unlikely to be accurately reflected in the registered demographic data available.
- It is estimated that over 40% of the population are from a minority ethnic origin, with 53 different languages being spoken. 27% of the Association’s housing stock is let to people from a black or minority ethnic (BME) background, with higher concentrations of the BME population residing in the unimproved, privately rented or owner occupied sectors of housing in the area.
- The South-West Govanhill Property Acquisition and Repair Programme, a two-year pilot from 2015 to 2017, was originally announced in February 2015. The Association will take a number of factors into account when buying flats in the target area – which contains a total of 579 properties within 78 tenements – such as whether a full or majority property interest/ownership exists or could be obtained. The focus will be on properties where common repairs have been carried out or are planned, or factoring arrangements could be improved.
For more information, contact Craig Watson, Media Officer, on firstname.lastname@example.org, or 07939 026869.