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Wednesday 31 May 2006

Glasgow announces a revolution in house-building

The skyline of Glasgow is set to be radically transformed, as swathes of high-rise tower blocks make way for thousands of new homes across the city.

Steven Purcell, the Leader of Glasgow City Council, announced the programme, saying it was nothing short of a ‘housing revolution’ in the social rented sector.



Cllr Purcell, in discussions with Scottish Ministers, has agreed an accelerated programme allowing 2,400 new homes to be built between 2006 and 2011 – three years earlier than planned. The £96 million programme will allow the GHA and local housing associations to speed up demolition and rehousing programmes. This is in addition to the completion of 600 homes already underway at a cost of £24 million.



“This is nothing short of a housing revolution for the people of Glasgow,” said Cllr Purcell.



“Everyone has a right to bring up their children in good, quality housing, within strong communities where there are real opportunities for all.



“I’m delighted that the Communities Minister agrees with me, that this programme should be brought forward to coincide with the huge regeneration and economic success we are currently enjoying.”



The Council will fully consult with local communities across the city to assess priority areas and will direct this work through the establishment of 10 Local Housing Forums.



Glasgow City Council, in its role as the strategic housing authority, will administer the funds on behalf of the Scottish Executive.



Malcolm Chisholm, the Communities Minister, said: “I am delighted at the progress being made in Glasgow to provide the warm and decent homes which people need.



“The Executive is already investing hundreds of millions of pounds in the city to ensure this happens.  Clearing many of the old tower blocks which dominate Glasgow’s skyline and providing new housing where it is needed is all part of this process.



“The initiative shown by all the partners in Glasgow working closely together should now enable this to happen much more quickly. I am encouraged by this joint approach and am keen to see the final proposal.”



Cllr Purcell concluded: “Glasgow is enjoying a real renaissance.  We are delivering on jobs, we’re delivering on better housing and we’ve regained our sense of ambition. This is an announcement that looks to the future and I’m determined we will not repeat the mistakes of the past.”



Eamon Fitzgerald, Convener of the Council’s Housing Development Committee, said: “I’m delighted that ordinary Glaswegians, through the Local Housing Forums, will have an influential part to play in deciding where these new homes will be built.



“We have to put local communities at the heart of Glasgow’s housing agenda to ensure we’re meeting their needs.”



In the East End of Glasgow, 60 homes have been built at Springfield Road, part of the 600 homes in Glasgow, which are helping to speed up demolition and rehousing programmes.



One of the newest tenants of Thenew Housing Association is Jimmy McGrattan, 73, who moved into their new development last November from a local high rise.



Mr McGrattan said: "I was living on the 21st floor and now I have a lovely new home. I'm absolutely delighted - I have a beautiful new house and good neighbours.



"I have everything at hand, a garage and a lovely drive way. I am absolutely sure that anyone who gets one of these 2,400 new homes will be as delighted as I am."



Another tenant, Eleanor Miller, 50, who shares her new semi-detached home with her 15-year-old daughter Kimberley, said: “I just moved into to my new house three weeks ago and I can’t fault it, I absolutely love it.



“This is the way people should be living in 2006. This should be what people in Glasgow should expect to have – a good quality house with a top class finish.”



The new build programme was agreed as part of the stock transfer proposals in order to assist the rehousing of tenants in the Glasgow Housing Association’s clearance programme.



The main focus of GHA’s Clearance and Demolition is to clear and demolish Multi Storey Flats (MSFs).  For example in the period 2006/07 to 2015/16, GHA projects that 15,649 units will be demolished.  Over two thirds (68.8%) will be MSFs.  In total, 10,775 MSF units are projected to be demolished over this period and will result in substantial demolition programmes in some parts of the city, particularly in the North.  The re-housing needs of the tenants displaced by the clearance and demolition are therefore a key consideration in the development of the Accelerated Re-provisioning Programme.  The main focus of the new programme is likely to be on providing new build homes for tenants cleared from MSFs.



Areas, which are likely to benefit from the programme, include Sighthill and Laurieston, in addition to options already decided such as Red Road.