This week the Evening Times carried a brief release from the City Council. Without comment the Evening Times noted:-
GLASGOW Housing Association has been accused of holding up the city’s regeneration.
The claim came from senior Labour politicians on Glasgow City Council as they called on the Scottish Executive to pay up to £500million to break the GHA up and replace it with dozens of smaller agencies.
But their stance has angered SNP MSP Alex Neil.
He said: “Labour has a damn cheek. They set up the GHA against the wishes of the SNP and others who said a landlord with 70,000 tenants was not the way to regenerate housing.”
The cost of replacing the GHA with smaller landlords is expected to be around £500m and the Executive has given an assurance of a ministerial announcement on the future of housing in Glasgow.
The city’s criticism is triggered in part by the continuing dismay of councillors that some tenants have been decanted from their homes for the past five years.
The GHA was formed to take on the city’s council house stock.
A spokeswoman for the GHA said the transfer included a promise by council bosses to release land to the GHA for new housing projects. She added: “We have experienced delays in this.”
The GRN will be examining what solutions there are to the protracted problems that the GHA is inflicting on residents across the city. However uncritical publishing of council press releases, as the one above demonstrate that there is much to be done to inform the opinion makers of ‘society’, represented by the media and the government, of what ordinary tenants and residents across Glasgow actually want. [The concept that there is increasing calls from local residents to push through second stage transfer is clearly not the case, for example] There clearly does need to be full and frank debate amongst local residents across the city about the way forward, and we in the GRN look forward to those discussions. It is our city, and it is our housing. We cannot allow the future of the common good assets of all of us, the property of the community, to be desposed of as the council sees fit, without any consultation. We have to talk amongst ourselves and decide our priorities. Only when people have a meaningful say in how our civic infrastructure is ran will we have a meaningful democracy. We will therefore be giving over a lot of space of the next few months to what should be done about the GHA, to generate debate and discussion amongst the wider residents association movement across the city, and it is likely to feature prominently at the first conference to establish a democratic federation of residents associations, which will be able to take these discussions forward by putting real pressure on the housing and governmental authorities to act in how we see fit to move our city and our communities forward.
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