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GHA bills lifeline ‘is not enough’

Protesters gather before travelling to Holyrood to hand in a petition

 

HOMEOWNERS have given a cautious welcome to a new scheme to help pay improvement bills.

But they insist much more has to be done to help residents clear bills of thousands of pounds.

More than 100 owners of former council houses travelled to Holyrood yesterday to campaign for a five-year repayment period to replace the current 12-month fixed term set by Glasgow Housing Association.

Their protest comes after a pilot programme was launched by Communities Scotland and Glasgow City Council to help people struggling to pay.

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Currently those who own their homes must foot the bill within a year.

But as revealed in later editions of yesterday’s Evening Times, the pilot will give these residents help in getting affordable loans, information and advice, but the campaigners want the opportunity to spread the costs.

Pensioner Anne Booth of Forge Street, Germiston, is disputing a bill of £7000 as well as a court order, saying: “If I paid it I’d only have £6000 to live on for a year.”

Archie Stewart, chairman of Sandyhills Residents’ Group, said: “My wife and I are OAPs and must find £630 a month.”

Publication date 22/03/07

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