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> 1.5bn Glasgow Housing Revolution, Plans to transform the city's housing landscape
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GG
post 26th Mar 2007, 08:54pm
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Glasgow City Council has announced plans to transform the city's housing landscape through a massive building programme costing GBP £1.5billion. The development work, if carried out would, result in the largest regeneration project to be carried out in the UK, The plan involves demolishing thousands of apparently poor quality houses and replacing them with almost 12,000 new homes to buy and rent. The plan would completely change city housing provision in the following areas within 15 years:
  • East Govan/Ibrox
  • Gallowgate
  • Laurieston
  • Maryhill
  • North Toryglen
  • Red Road
  • Sighthill
  • Shawbridge
The council says that a large number of national and international property developers are waiting in the wings to assist the city with the ambitious transformation.

Glasgow City Council leader Steven Purcell said:
QUOTE
"There are still too many areas of this city which are not part of the success Glasgow is enjoying. Today we are sending out a very strong signal that it is our intention to ensure the city's economic boom leaves a legacy for generations to come."

The development plan - which is subject to Scottish Executive approval - would appear to involve selling off land in 'high-value' areas such as Laurieston and Sighthill to private property developers, and using the money to fund new social housing in 'low-value' elsewhere in the city.

GHA Depute development and regeneration director Gerry Gormal said:
QUOTE
"We think there is huge private sector potential. However land values in Laurieston and Sighthill will be much higher than the East End of the Gallowgate, so by doing work in all eight areas there is a chance for cross subsidy."

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wee mags
post 27th Mar 2007, 09:42pm
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sounds like a good Idea ,even if it means the old Maryhill I knew would no longer be, but then again its a truly new way of life


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lindamac
post 1st Apr 2007, 06:07am
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huh.gif wont this mean yet again an us & them,the haves & the have nots again all over? when they set aside the best land to be sold to privatesectors & the cheaper land will be used to provide social housing etc isnt this the sameold sameold? iam finding it difficult to see where this becomes good? or where problems are solved just moving the problems around to differing areas? is it not?


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glenafton
post 1st Apr 2007, 12:41pm
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Lindamac,
Surely you realise that if "Friends of friends" did not make money out of these types of project then there would be a lessing of the division between the Haves and the Have not's and that would never do. Can you imagine a society where there was a social equality?. A society where there was no poverty? A society based on the dignity of man and where there was no want from the basics of life? Pipe dreams,girl. Pure unadulterated pipe dreams. How on earth would we ever be able to differentiate between the classes if the wealthy were made to earn their wealth from their own sweat and not from the backs of the less fortunate. Dare I suggest that you stop being so logical in suggesting that only the selected few will have anything to gain from this proposal and accept this "Wonderful" gift that the corporation is bestowing on the people of the less wealthy areas.


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GG
post 1st Apr 2007, 12:50pm
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lindamac, you're absolutely spot on!

glenafton, you're a man after my own heart.

GG.


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lindamac
post 1st Apr 2007, 06:04pm
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laugh.gif laugh.gif Cheers Glenafton! & GG!


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*Guest*
post 2nd Apr 2007, 06:37pm
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Gerry Gormal has moved to GHA?
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buntyq
post 2nd Apr 2007, 07:41pm
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Interesting post. I hope that there will be a chance for people to own their own homes instead of renting for years. If so, then there has to be strict rules that these buyers are qualified to make the mortgage payment and not face foreclosure.

Linda, this has come up before but I think back to the time when Possilpark became the repository for slum clearances and the district went downhill. Hopefully, lessons have been learned.
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*Guest Glasgow Residents Network *
post 5th Apr 2007, 03:34am
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The news is largely a rehash/press release about details contained in the GHA's business plan. The only difference is the plan to shelve some provisions made in the sell-off to protect the city from speculative developments. What a surprise. huh.gif

The GHA have made provision to demolish about 30,000 of their initial 80,000 stock. The reason for this is that the government believes that Glasgow's social housing depresses the buy-to-let market, and therefore it must be cut. Of course none of that is predicated on social need - outside of hard to let areas the GHA's waiting lists for homes are massive. However very few homes are planned, as social need (despite the constant propaganda - who ever heard of a local authority housing department buying lots of advertising in newspapers like the Herald to state how many new kitchens, windows and bathrooms it had fitted?) is not what any of this is about.

In the meantime people living in many of the areas featured are seeing no substantive investment in homes that are often crumbling or riddled with dampness and which may not be demolished for many years to come, and when the wrecking ball does come few will be decanted to the nice back and front doors so many aspire to.

In the Botany scheme in Maryhill which was cleared to make for luxury flats tenants were misled that each of them would be given a back and front door home in the area. Four years on from the demolition many are still living in overcrowded flats awaiting homes which will never be built, but most couldn't abide being forced to live in Gaza strip style conditions so left to stay in private lets.

Near me the GHA have been so desperate to decant people to clear the land for private housing development (a la Queens Cross Housing Association) folk have been decanted to Paisley and to Dumfries.

None of that is the kind of thing or the injustice of it is sort of fare you'd read in the liberal press, outside of some voyeuristic stuff for those who read the Guardian's society section. The evening times too has been the mouthpiece of the government on all of these issues and only rarely runs human interest stories alongside big ads for the GHA.

However as this agenda to clear whole areas to make way for luxury or private housing gathers pace with scams like the East End Regeneration Route (the name's a giveaway) and the Glasgow Canal Regeneration Partnership (info online at http://tinyurl.com/2xsobn) we will see whole communities cleared. That's a strategic priority of the city - 20,000 luxury housing units are to be built in the next few years within the city centre to develop the city's capacity as a conference city; the land those 'houses' are to be situated on has to come from somewhere.

However by far the greatest tragedy in all this as that communities which are effectively under siege from developers, councillors and housing bosses are pretty badly equipped to fight back to get a better deal or see investment in their homes instead of demolition. What remained of the city's badly organised tenants movement was brought into the mechanisms of the GHA long before the housing stock transfer. Community groups were asked to campaign on behalf of stock transfer. As there was a crossover between those groups and local, often elderly, labour party activists, the labour council and labour executive found that loyalty and faith in the process was quite easy to come by. Subsequently as many of these groups became Local Housing Organisations of the GHA, community activists involved have been bound by gagging clauses and other onerous companies legislation, and they perhaps were never that democratic anyway. The campaigners Billy McAllister and Colin Deans were chucked off the board of the GHA early on for blowing the whistle on information that was in the public interest. Many others have been seduced by self-importance and cups of tea with the housing, or have gotten scunnered and stopped bothering with any of it all.

What organisations remained outside the structures of the GHA apparatus often now become 'registered' - that's a process where the Government and the landlord accredit a tenants association, granting it the right to be consulted on certain issues. Often the fear of being 'de-registered' by the same bodies and the loss of the 500 quid grant funding has been enough to stay the tongues of a few. In Maryhill the tenants association for the Kilmun street area, which existed for some 25 years or more was asked by the local housing manager if they might consider 'winding up'. The rationale was that the housing manager knew that shortly compulsory purchase orders would be made on a number of houses, in order to facilitate demolition. He expected some resistance, and wanted to see the tenants association wound up so that nobody from the scheme would join it and cause problems. In the following meeting the association was duly wound up. You have to wonder... A year later we have the situation in the Cumlodden estate, where a mass meeting of tenants decided that they wanted to reject the GHA's plans to carry out less work on their houses than they had previously promised. During the meeting the chair of the local tenants association, obviously embarrassed, said she would have to consult with the housing officers to see if they were technically allowed to go on record as making such a demand to their landlord. Crazy.

As for independent groups. Well on the whole they don't exist, and it's very hard work trying to find any that are active. There is currently no body which unites the best part of them, and more groups are dying than are being seeded. All-in, including community councils there are probably close to 350 bodies on paper which provide some manner of collective representation for their neighbourhoods. That sounds like a lot, but when you compare it to Haringey - a borough in North London with about a third of Glasgow's population, where there is 150 odd active residents associations united into one single federation ran directly by its members which stresses independence and autonomy for its residents groups which is fighting borough wide against hospital closures and school cuts as well as improving the borough's communities and neighbourhoods it's absolutely pathetic for such a city as Glasgow which perceives itself a bit right-on.

If the current picture continues we can expect sporadic and badly organised resistence and the continuing complete lack of support from civic society on most of these issues. The voluntary sector, the unions, and professional associations haven't exactly been coming to the aid of some of Scotland's poorest communities on this one, and after years of being run into the ground we're not likely to see shift workers struggling on the breadline to feed their weans, people with addiction problems and pensioners from neighbourhoods where 40% unemployment is normal get organised without a bit of a heeze up. However housing struggles are actually, despite the introspection from the homeowners among us, some of the most important battles in the fight to maintain the country's social contract. When the authorities are finished their work in about ten years time all that remains of Glasgow's former council housing will be run by 7 housing companies, competing in a marketplace. They'll technically be housing associations, but they'll be a very long way from the so-called 'community ownership' that is euphemised about a lot these days. Large propert holding associations with international interests like Sanctuary, have expressed an interest in getting in on this game already, and given the mendacity and corruption of preferred bidders Queens Cross Housing Association and North Glasgow Housing Association, we should expect the worst. Already the likes of David Orr, then chairman of the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations was saying a few years ago that housing associations should have the 'right' to increase their rents to market levels. Ten years from now the way things are going this will be a given. That means that if ever you or your kids need to access social housing, it won't be there. It'll be like getting sick in the US - if you're poor then you just have to suffer, the way they do elsewhere.

So it's all very well to talk about demolishing 'third world' schemes in depressed areas like Maryhill as the authorities are wont to do, but the reality is that unless something is done these guys overall plan will see the slums and barrios of the Glasgow's past become ever more a reality for Glasgow's future as all the poor bastards who can't afford anything else face teh 21st century's Rachmans.

We need independent community organisation in every area of the city to stop that from happening.

www.glasgowresidents.wordpress.com
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GG
post 6th Apr 2007, 12:32am
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Thanks GRN, I've read probably thousands of posts on these boards over the years and I have to admit that the previous post is one of the most interesting and insightful.

GG.


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glenafton
post 8th Apr 2007, 01:08pm
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grn,
These are the same truths that were told in the last century and the one before that and who knows from when. The ordinary plebian has little or no control over his destiny because he will always be dominated by the rich and powerful greedy landlords whose only thoughts are on how to increase his personal wealth. It matters not that someone who is at the lower end of the social/financial scale has to endure the added burden of greater rentals for sub standard housing for as is often pointed out if the tenant does not like it they are free to leave. But to where? Another squalid tenement or high rise? These people who are often exploited have to accept what they have as they have little voice that can be used to their betterment. I and many thousands like me had the opportunity to help correct this injustice but true to nature I was so wrapped up in my self concern that I did little if anything to voice my thoughts. Now that I am an old man I can take time to reflect on the many ways that I could have perhaps in some small way helped correct this injustice. Can I suggest that those who are in a position to make your voice heard do so now for tomorrow may be just too late


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Oor Wullie
post 10th Apr 2007, 02:56am
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" These people who are often exploited have to accept what they have as they have little voice that can be used to their betterment. "


"I and many thousands like me had the opportunity to help correct this injustice but true to nature I was so wrapped up in my self concern that I did little if anything to voice my thoughts."


I'm a wee bit confused here. How is it that glenafton had the opportunity to use his voice to correct this perceived injustice and "these people" don't ?
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tamhickey
post 20th Nov 2009, 04:21am
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Now, I am no mathematical wizard, but surely if all of this demolition work is to be carried out, then 12,000 houses would surely be nowhere near enough to re-house the present residents?
The smell of brown envelopes suddenly fills the air...
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