Glasgow housing project to receive £34m funding boost

February 17 2017, 11.39amUpdated: February 17 2017, 4.19pm
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Almost £35 million of public cash is to be spent tackling slum housing in part of Glasgow.

The Scottish Government has committed £20 million to a four-year project which will see up to 350 homes in the Govanhill area of the city bought and renovated.

After repairs and improvements have been made, the properties will then be taken over by the local housing association.

Glasgow City Council will also invest £14 million in the scheme after the funds have been approved by its executive committee.

Govanhill residents have complained for several years about housing conditions, with local people telling MSPs in 2008 that part of the area had ” become a ghetto for the migrant community”.

Representatives said overcrowding was so bad there could be 15 to 25 people living in a two-bedroom flat and also complained of ”mass infestations of cockroaches”.

A pilot scheme in the south-west area of Govanhill was set up, with improvements targeted at four blocks of flats, resulting in 124 properties being bought up by a housing association so that vital repair work could be done.

Housing minister Kevin Stewart said that had been a “g reat success”, with “significant progress” made in a relatively short period of time.

He added: “It is 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.”

Glasgow City Council leader councillor Frank McAveety said: ” This is a huge investment package and demonstrates the council’s long-term commitment to Govanhill.

“In our view, transforming how the area’s housing is managed is the foundation for a long-term improvement in 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.”

Local resident Annie Macfarlane, vice chairwoman of Govanhill Housing Association, said: ” 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.”

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