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“I’m not going to commit to 3000 new homes by 2012 until I can see that the conditions are right.”

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What an illuminating comment to make – “But she has questioned whether GHA will be able to meet its pledge of 3000 new homes by 2012.” If they are going to break this promise, like they are with secondary stock transfer (SST), how can anyone take their integrity for real? This isn’t a new kid on the block speaking, she has been at the top of GHA with Lennon for years. It’s time Frankenstein’s monster was tamed!

What an illuminating comment to make – “But she has questioned whether GHA will be able to meet its pledge of 3000 new homes by 2012.”

 

New GHA chief says housing break-up in doubt

 

GERRY BRAIDEN, THE HERALD (GLASGOW)
August 03 2007

 

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The new head of Scotland’s largest social landlord has cast fresh doubt on whether it will be broken up into dozens of smaller housing organisations.
In her first interview since taking the helm at Glasgow Housing Association, the new chief executive, Taroub Zahran, said she was exploring alternatives to the break-up, known as second stage transfer (SST). Ms Zahran, who has been in the £140,000-a-year post for only a week, also said that she could not commit herself to GHA’s initial pledge of delivering 3000 new homes by 2012 until she was sure “all the conditions are right”. Business plans detailing how local housing organisations (LHOs) intend to take control of GHA stock will still be submitted next month. However, Ms Zahran, echoing the mantra of her predecessor, Michael Lennon, said GHA was not budging from its position that the departure of a single LHO must not have an impact financially on the remaining 60-plus associations previously expected to break away. She insisted “financial neutrality” is the legally and morally correct approach. Her opponents, keen to take ownership of the housing, and locked in a bitter battle with GHA over the issue, claim that unless the organisation veers away from the “fundamentalist” position and adopts a “suck-it-and-see” approach, the status quo will remain. Ms Zahran said that it was now clear that SST would not work for all Glasgow’s LHOs and that GHA was looking for different approaches to giving tenants more control. She said: “SST is not going to happen for some. It won’t work for them. So there must be other options and we’re already working with tenants on this. “Those which are are realistic in their business cases, in that they meet the price of the stock and leave the rest of the network intact, we’ll move on as quickly as we can.” She added: “The approach that we can just do it and absorb problems later is fundamentally flawed. Our position isn’t whimsical theory. It’s legally and morally correct and we haven’t been shown a better way of doing SST. “People don’t want to spend the next four years fighting. For most people, second stage transfer is not the issue, while it was for those who got involved with housing committees. “I’m not rubbishing that. They have done a huge amount of work. But now it’s time to get on with the reality.” Ms Zahran won the post six months after being appointed acting chief executive and following a round of interviews during which a Canadian had been offered the position. She has held discussions with the new SNP administration, which has embarked on a period of consultation on the future of housing in Scotland. Weeks into its administration, it pledged to investigate the reasons behind the deadlock which has prevented the break-up of GHA. Housing sources have predicted that intervention by the executive is likely. Ms Zahran said: “The relationship with the new administration is positive and constructive. They are currently making their own assessments and informing themselves of the issues. “It’s all been going very quickly. We will know in September what their views on housing are, not just in Glasgow but throughout Scotland.” But she has questioned whether GHA will be able to meet its pledge of 3000 new homes by 2012. As part of the handover of the municipal housing stock nearly five years ago, GHA and other housing groups said they would construct 13,000 new homes. All are well behind schedule. GHA insists one-quarter are being built or are in procurement. But little, if anything, of the original promise has been delivered, something far from wholly the fault of the organisation itself. Ms Zahran said: “We’ve got to get the right housing in the right places. “If you were to ask if we could build 3000 new homes straight away, then yes, we could. But it is getting the right type which people want to live in.
“I’m not going to commit to 3000 new homes by 2012 until I can see that the conditions are right.”

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