Govanhill housing plan moves ahead

Plans are afoot to change housing conditions in Govanhill
Plans are afoot to change housing conditions in Govanhill

Plans to bring Govanhill housing up to standard are being pushed forward by Govanhill Housing Association.

As reported in The Extra, Glasgow City Council recently approved a £9.3 million plan to bring four blocks of privately-owned tenement flats into the social housing sector, in a bid to beat slum landlords, lack of factoring, overcrowding and rapid turnover of tenancies.

The housing association is sending some 600 letters to property owners in the target area in south-west Govanhill.

Meetings with owners in the affected blocks will follow — and already, the association reports 50 owners and private landlords looking to sell as part of the South-West Govanhill Property Acquisition and Repair Programme.

John McLardie, chair of the Govanhill Housing Association, said: “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.

“This is a two-year pilot 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 Scottish Government is fronting £4.3m to allow the association to buy, repair and let up to 80 properties, with a further £5m funding from GCC.

The move has the backing of southside central councillor Soryia Siddique, who commented that it will “improve the housing stock and tackle a variety of issues in Govanhill in recent years”.