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Glasgow City Council’s Executive Committee today (2 February) considered its current £8 million grant programme to improve private housing in the city, and approved proposals for the programme in the next financial year.
The programme, the Private Sector Housing Grant programme (PSHG), includes works such as disabled adaptations, lead pipe replacements and support for maintenance to allow energy efficiency measures such as wall insulation to take place, is undertaken to ensure the council can achieve a key priority of its housing strategy: to ‘manage, maintain and improve’ Glasgow’s existing housing stock.
The grant programme is recognition that such work is needed to maintain thriving neighbourhoods through attractive, good quality housing and supporting regeneration and improving energy efficiency.
Councillor Frank McAveety, Leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “The council is committed to ensuring that all our residents live in quality housing, and this programme to support those living in privately-owned homes underlines this commitment. Whether it’s ensuring that factors carry out their duties responsibly, funding home adaptations for disabled people, or supporting repairs for tenements – a key part of the city’s built heritage – we will do all that we can to maintain and improve the homes of the people of Glasgow.”
In Glasgow, 64% of homes are in private ownership, and this stock has the highest levels of disrepair in the city, particularly amongst the 70,000 pre-1919 tenements. Investment by the council has been key to halting the decline – and in some cases preventing the demolition – of these older properties. Some areas of the city have specific concentrations of older private houses in poor condition, and support is being given in these areas, as it is in other areas where more modern homes are in disrepair.
In most cases, the council will offer advice, information and practical support to private owners, with in certain circumstances financial assistance being made available to encourage private owners to repair and maintain their properties on a voluntary basis.
Examples of this support include securing funding for the city from the Scottish Government’s Home Energy Efficiency programme for Scotland: Area Based Schemes (HEEPS:ABS) to allow work to make homes more energy efficient and therefore more comfortable and affordable to heat, and the council’s ‘Missing Share’ programme which underwrites the costs of a minority of owners in cases where the majority are willing to share fees for maintenance works to their building. Owners who do not pay are pursued, on completion of the works, for their full share of the costs plus a 15% charge. The vast majority of owners pay their share of costs.
The Glasgow Factoring Commission was established by the council to tackle issues of common repair and improve property management, and the council is currently progressing actions from the commission’s action plan, and is looking to agree a ‘Factoring Standard’ with registered social landlords this Spring.
Looking forward to the next financial year, the council will continue to provide financial assistance for critical needs adaptation for disabled people; pro-actively support the property management and factoring of buildings in common ownership; continue to address issues in the Govanhill area; and address areas of the city where homes in private ownership are in poor condition or where property management is inadequate.
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