Glasgow City Council has now received consent from the Scottish executive to commence consultation with tenants on the proposals. This statutory consultation period will help to ensure that tenants have the opportunity to consider the new housing association's proposals in detail.
'This is great news for tenants in Glasgow and allows the process of improving the quality of Glasgow's socially rented housing to move forward.
'These proposals represent a significant step towards our goal of tackling social injustice. They will provide good quality, affordable housing for all, help tackle poverty and disadvantage, rebuild and strengthen communities and give new opportunities for jobs in construction.'
Minister for social justice Jackie Baillie said:
'Community ownership will deliver significant new investment for Glasgow and give tenants a much greater say in the future management of their homes and estates. We have also undertaken to deal with the council's housing debt of around£900 million This means that millions of pounds of tenants' rents currently spent on debt would instead be spent on modernising homes and regenerating communities. Millions of pounds of private finance would also be levered in to improve homes.'
During the formal consultation period, tenants will be able to make representations to the council about the proposals. In parallel with consulting tenants, the council and GHA are continuing their dialogue with potential funders. A decision on whether or not to proceed to ballot will be taken in the light of the outcome of these processes. Only if tenants vote 'yes' will the transfer take place.
If the proposal is accepted by the tenants, arrangements will be made by the executive and the treasury to tackle the council's housing debt burden.
GHA is a new, not-for-profit organisation, created specifically to own and manage the council housing stock of over 80,000 houses. Tenants, the council and the wider community are all represented on the association's board of management. On transfer GHA will be subject to regulation by Scotland's new housing and regeneration agency, Communities Scotland.
As well as Glasgow, three other local authorities in Scotland are progressing proposals which may lead to ballots for the possible transfer to community ownership of all of their housing stock. These councils are: Dumfries and Galloway, Borders and Shetland Islands.
Ministerial consent to transfer is required. Before giving consent certain statutory consultation processes, including a ballot, have to be completed and proposals appraised in order to demonstrate that they represent value for money.