Sheriff bans GHA chiefs from chasing residents for cash
CAMPAIGNERS struggling to pay hefty home improvement bills have claimed a major victory against Scotland’s biggest landlord.
In a dramatic move yesterday, a Glasgow sheriff suspended all court cases taken by Glasgow Housing Association against homeowners.
Sheriff Peebles issued an order recommending that no further cases would be brought against families over unpaid bills, following the introduction of a new loan scheme by Communities Scotland.
Dozens of families have already registered for the loans which will be administered by Glasgow City Council.
But despite signing up for the cash help, homeowners were still called to appear at Glasgow Sheriff Court over the unpaid bills.
The 40-year-old bus driver, who owes £5300, said: “It’s a huge relief. We never refused to pay. We just wanted more time.”
As reported in the Evening Times, hundreds of homeowners face charges of up to £9000 after Glasgow Housing Association speeded up a city-wide improvement programme.
GHA demanded homeowners pay their share of the money in full within one year.
Many ended up in court because they couldn’t afford to pay on time.
Families were delighted when Communities Scotland announced the loan scheme earlier this month.
Campaigners are now urging the GHA to issue an official statement that no families will be cited to appear in court following the sheriff’s recommendation.
For more on the story see the Evening Times article. Yet again this latest victory shows that when people stand up for themselves and their communities they can win. Before the campaign got underway many homeowners faced financial ruin and homelessness – indeed as GHA took homeowners to Court many were issued with open decrees (where the factor gets to keep the house). This campaign has also led to the formation of a few residents associations, which will continue to fight for their neighbourhoods after the homeowners situation is resolved – that’s something that we can surely welcome.