Linzi Heggie/GHA Response to Questions From Tenants About to Lose Their Homes

In response to the questions I sent Glasgow Housing Association (soon to be renamed Wheatley Homes Glasgow), I received the following letter today. Decide for yourself how many of the questions it answers.

Dear Mr Stevenson,

Re: Wyndford regeneration

24 January 2022

Thank you for your recent enquiry regarding the proposed regeneration of the Wyndford community.

Last year, tenants of Cube Housing Association voted overwhelmingly to join forces with GHA to create one tenant-led organisation in Glasgow. Importantly, we promised as part of these proposals, to kick start major regeneration in Wyndford, which would see GHA and Wheatley Group invest a total of £54 million in the area.

Consultation on the proposed regeneration began on 22 November 2021 and was carried out over an eight-week period, ending on 14 January 2022. Every GHA tenant living in Wyndford was sent a consultation pack detailing our proposals for regeneration in the area.

We included information on the many ways tenants could have their say on the regeneration proposals, one of which was to return the enclosed feedback form. It had a clear and concise set of questions, as well as free text space which gave tenants the opportunity to provide further feedback.

An integral part of the proposed regeneration of Wyndford is the demolition of the four blocks at 120, 151, 171 and 191 Wyndford Road, which allows for hundreds of new, modern, and fuel-efficient homes to be built in their place. The feedback question asked if the proposed regeneration was supported, while highlighting that demolition of the four blocks was essential to these plans.

In addition to the feedback form, tenants were advised of many other ways they could have their say, including talking to their housing officer, emailing us at talk@gha.org.uk or by calling 0800 479 7979.

Tenants were also invited to a series of ‘Have Your Say’ events held at Maryhill Hub. Furthermore, the consultation was supported by the Tenant Participation Advisory service (TPAS), offering tenants a further opportunity to feedback to an independent organisation.

We remain mindful that tenants, like yourself, who live in one of the four blocks will be most affected by these proposals. As such, we have been visiting every tenant to discuss the plans in more detail, as well as answering any questions they may have.

Every tenant in the four blocks will have the opportunity to discuss their individual housing needs, including any support needs and affordability. We’ll also discuss their preferred area as not all tenants would want to remain in Wyndford. We will give advice on the options available to them.

Each GHA tenant moving from these blocks under these proposals would be offered another Wheatley Group home, matching their individual needs and circumstances. Those tenants who wished to remain in Wyndford would be supported to move to another home within the community. Those who wished to return to the Wyndford after redevelopment was completed would be given priority for one of the new homes that are proposed.

Furthermore, all tenants being rehoused from these blocks would be entitled to a home disturbance payment of £1250 and a home loss payment of £1500 to assist with associated moving costs. The amount of Home Loss payment due to each tenant is set out by the Land Compensation (Scotland) Act 1973, section 28, and is normally only payable to those who have been living in their property for over one year. Nonetheless, we have given assurances that every GHA tenant moving from the blocks would be entitled to this compensation regardless of how long they have stayed here. In addition, there will be no rent increases for the properties which are proposed for demolition.

In 2020, we commissioned a team to examine if there was a feasible and cost-effective way to reconfigure the flats to increase demand and suitability. The blocks being reinforced concrete structures mean conversion is very difficult, if not impossible. Having considered our approach, Glasgow City Council, as the strategic housing authority, agreed with our view the blocks do not have a sustainable long-term future and the aim is to build in their place hundreds of attractive, modern, fuel-efficient homes.

The plans for the new homes, including housing type, size and location, have yet to be decided and will be taken forward in conjunction with Glasgow City Council, with a strong commitment to consult and engage with tenants and the local community at every stage. The views of residents are important and feedback from the consultation will also help influence and shape how we, alongside Glasgow City Council, bring an enhanced community facility to Wyndford.

Our sustainability approach in Wyndford, as in other regeneration areas, would follow best practice. Any selected demolition contractor would be required to show that sustainability would be taken into account, including providing end destinations for building materials and suitable locations for on-site waste storage and segregation. All generated waste would be separated to ensure maximum recycling and minimum landfill is achieved.

As well as new homes, these plans would bring other benefits to the wider community and address known local issues and key priorities identified by tenants. These include:

Feedback from the consultation has been very positive and will be reported back to our Board in February 2022. Following the decision by the board, where we would seek approval of the proposed regeneration, including demolition, we would issue further communications to all tenants.

Although consultation ended on 14 January 2022, tenants will continue to be supported every step of the way and should still expect the same services, including repairs, our 24/7 Customer First Centre, as well as a wide range of wraparound services such as Welfare Benefits Advisors and Fuel Advisors. Your housing officers is also on hand to answer any questions you may have.

I trust this information is useful. If you require any further assistance, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Yours sincerely,

Linzi Heggie Locality Housing Director

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