Housing (Glasgow)

Question Time — Scottish Executive — Finance and Public Services and Communities – in the Scottish Parliament at 2:15 pm on 8th March 2007.

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Photo of Bill Butler Bill Butler Labour 2:15 pm, 8th March 2007

To ask the Scottish Executive what progress has been made with regard to second-stage transfer of Glasgow housing stock. (S2O-12276)

Photo of Des McNulty Des McNulty Labour

Scottish ministers remain committed to extending community ownership in Glasgow. In December, my predecessor wrote to the board of Glasgow Housing Association setting out a framework for taking forward second-stage transfers and re-affirming the Executive's intention of achieving some early transfers. I have had meetings this week with different housing associations in that regard.

The Glasgow stock transfer is already delivering a massive deal for tenants in Glasgow, including around £450 million of investment over the past four years alone. That equates to GHA spending around £1 million every two days on tenants' homes. The increased investment has already delivered substantial, real improvements for tenants, including more than 28,500 new central heating systems, some 11,000 kitchens and 11,000 bathrooms and more than 34,000 new secure doors.

Overall, the transfer has delivered around £1.5 billion for tenants in Glasgow—a substantial achievement by this Labour-Liberal Democrat Executive.

Photo of Bill Butler Bill Butler Labour

The minister will be aware that, despite the Executive's best efforts to promote second-stage transfer, there remains a widespread concern that GHA is not fully committed to that process. One of the key objectives of the original stock transfer to GHA, along with improving homes and achieving regeneration—which are welcome objectives—was to achieve greater local accountability and control. Therefore, will the minister outline precisely what progress has been made on achieving a key conclusion of a report that was delivered to his predecessor in December 2006, which was that

"a substantial restructuring of the LHO network in Glasgow ... to help facilitate a series of transfers to a smaller number of viable and sustainable organisations subject to tenant ballot" was needed? When are we going to get those transfers?

Photo of Des McNulty Des McNulty Labour

The letter from Malcolm Chisholm, which is available on the Communities Scotland website, makes it clear that, between now and the summer, ministers and Communities Scotland will be working with GHA to identify and support any organisations that are able to move forward to second-stage transfer under the current arrangements. Following that, we will work with GHA and the local housing associations to take forward a restructuring of the local housing organisation network to create an affordable structure for second-stage transfer that is in the best interests of tenants.