Housing in the south Glasgow area of Govanhill is set to benefit from a funding package, unveiled by the Scottish Government and Glasgow City Council, that could total over £34m.
The Scottish Government has pledged £20m towards a four-year programme that aims to acquire up to 350 homes in the area and bring them into the social rented sector, so that repairs and improvements can be made.
Subject to a decision by Glasgow City Council’s Executive Committee, the council will also invest £14m in the programme, which will see Govanhill Housing Association assume ownership of the homes in an effort to improve property management in the area.
The investment will build on the success of the South-West Govanhill Property Acquisition and Repair Programme – a pilot scheme targeting four blocks in which many of the flats had fallen into disrepair. A total of 124 flats have been brought into housing association ownership so that vital repairs can be carried out, surpassing the original target of 80.
The Vice Chairperson of Govanhill Housing Association, Annie Macfarlane, who lives in Govanhill, welcomed the announcement of further funding from the Scottish Government and Glasgow City Council.
Ms Macfarlane said:
“This four-year funding commitment recognises the need for a longer-term approach to tackling the issues that exist in the area. Of the 124 housing association properties bought to date, over 60% are from private landlords. This reflects our successful efforts to take housing into the social rented sector, while also maintaining existing tenancies.
“As a community controlled and owned association, we will continue to work with local people, involving them in the programme to ensure we achieve its aims – better living conditions in the area, reduced overcrowding and more effective property management and maintenance. The long-term approach needed in Govanhill requires continued support from the Scottish Government and Glasgow City Council.”
Kevin Stewart, Minister for Housing and Local Government, said:
“The acquisition and repair scheme, which ran as a pilot and focussed on four blocks, has proven to be a great success. Evaluation of this project has shown that, in a relatively short period of time, significant progress has been made.
“However, It’s clear that more work needs to be done in this area, and that is why I’m delighted that we’re able to invest £20 million to support a wider programme of improvements across the Govanhill area. By working together with Glasgow City Council and Govanhill Housing Association we can continue to make real improvements to the lives of the people who live here.”
Councillor Frank McAveety, Leader of Glasgow City Council, said:
“This is a huge investment package and demonstrates the council’s long term commitment to Govanhill. The council has been working extremely hard alongside our partners to deliver lasting change to Govanhill.
“In our view transforming how the area’s housing is managed is the foundation for a long-term improvement in Govanhill. The impact of council-inspired initiatives such as the Acquisition Programme and the Enhanced Enforcement Area is now being felt and we are seeing real signs of progress in Govanhill.
“This latest funding package builds on this progress and sets out a clear vision for the future of Govanhill. We see real potential in Govanhill and are willing to back this with the kind of investment that will make a real difference to the area.”
Full details of the proposed strategy, that will run from 2017/18 to 2020/21 will be decided by Glasgow City Council’s Executive on March 2.
The Scottish Government has invested a further £1 million towards the acquisition and repair project, bringing the total Scottish Government contribution to £7.8 million, with Glasgow City Council investing £7.1 million.