GHA to be renamed Wheatley Homes Glasgow
The name change was supported by tenants in an independent consultation.
A new era in Scottish housing will begin in April when Scotland’s largest registered social landlord, GHA, is renamed Wheatley Homes Glasgow.
The name change – supported by tenants in an independent consultation – follows GHA and Cube Housing Association, both part of Wheatley Group, joining forces last year, a merger that will result in hundreds of additional new homes and jobs and millions more invested in existing homes.
Tenant Chair Bernadette Hewitt said it "heralded a bright, new era in affordable housing in Glasgow and Scotland".
Wheatley Homes Glasgow will take forward its investment and new-build programme, leading to:
- an additional 600 new affordable homes, on top of the 1,500 already promised by GHA and Cube
- a minimum investment of £250 million in existing homes across Glasgow over the next five years
- launch of three new community regeneration areas, including Wyndford in Maryhill
- creation of hundreds of new jobs, apprenticeships and training opportunities for tenants and their families.
Mrs Hewitt promised the new organisation would continue to keep rents affordable and give tenants an even louder voice in policy and decision making.
Hundreds of tenants will be recruited to form online engagement panels, covering four areas of the city. The ‘Glasgow 1,000’ will engage through everything from webinars to online chat.
Tenant Inspection Panels will review performance on repairs and other services and ‘You Choose’ online ballots will enable customers to decide how, and where, a new £5 million community fund should be invested.
Mrs Hewitt said: “This is a bright new dawn for housing and tenants in Glasgow. Wheatley Homes Glasgow will be able to do so much more for our communities and the wider city.”
The tenant-chair also revealed tenants had voted overwhelmingly (88%) in the six-week consultation – supported by TPAS, the independent Tenant Participation Advisory Service – in favour of plans to transform and modernise the way services are delivered.
She added: “This is nothing short of a revolution in how we provide services. It is a hugely exciting time in the development of our award-winning housing services.
"The pandemic has led us to accelerate many aspects of our new five-year strategy and that includes using technology to provide customers with even more personalised, co-created services.”
The changes and innovations include:
- specialist support and 24/7 cover from a new high-performing Customer First Centre where experienced housing professionals use everything from webchat and WhatsApp, as well as telephone and emails, to offer 'one-and-done' solutions to tenant service requests and enquiries
- tech-savvy, customer-focused housing officers looking after, on average, just 200 homes (the smallest in the UK) and offering highly-personalised services 'on the doorstep'
- conversion of traditional offices into community-based Centres of Excellence and Touchdown Hubs where staff and tenants can meet, learn, collaborate and engage.
Wheatley Group Chief Executive Martin Armstrong said: “GHA should be rightly proud of what it has achieved for tenants and communities across Glasgow since it was formed in 2003.
“Its legacy will live on in homes and communities in which over £1.75 billion has been invested to make them warmer, safer, drier and more fuel efficient as well as all of the fantastic new houses and flats we’ve built across the city.”
Mr Armstrong, who was GHA's Chief Executive from 2009 to 2012, before overseeing the launch of Wheatley Group in 2011, added: “I have absolutely no doubt Wheatley Homes Glasgow will create its own proud heritage in the years ahead as an outstanding force for good.”