Glasgow tenants vote to go private

Glasgow City Council’s entire stock of houses
is to be transferred to the privately funded Glasgow Housing
Association following a ballot of all tenants.

approximately 78,000 tenants entitled to vote just over 50,000
participated in the biggest ballot of its kind in Scotland. Over
29,000 voted “yes” (58 per cent) with almost 21,000 voting “no” (
42 per cent).

Charles Gordon, leader of Glasgow
City Council, welcomed the decision as a means of attracting
£1.5bn more investment in housing and the writing off of the
city’s £900m housing debt by the Treasury. Gordon said: “The
GHA will be investing to ensure that all tenants will have warm,
dry and centrally heated homes within four years and all
modernisation and improvements will be completed within ten and a
half years. The GHA’s proposals, which tenants have backed in their
vote, gives guarantees on rents over the next eight years which the
council cannot give.”

Tommy Sheridan MSP, a campaigner against the move said: “Fewer than
40 per cent of those entitled to vote voted in favour of the
proposals. This ballot does not provide a mandate to transfer the
council’s housing stock.”

legal challenge has also been mounted declaring that the executive
and the local authority supporting GHA as a sole bidder lacked fair
competition under European law (News, page 16, 28

Meanwhile, England’s largest
stock transfer was off this week after 66.8 per cent of Birmingham
Council tenants voted against transferring the management of their
88,000 homes to new community landlords.

result of the ballot of 94,000 council tenants revealed that of the
61,593 tenants voting, 40,869 voted against the

Thompson, Birmingham council’s director of housing, said: “We are
now in a far stronger position to tackle the challenge of providing
decent, modern homes for all of the city’s council

Dumfries and Galloway Council is to be the next Scottish local
authority to ballot tenants on the transfer of their 12,800 housing
stock to an independent housing agency, Dumfries & Galloway
Housing Partnership.


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