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Social housing new builds ‘must not stop’ and ‘partnership is key’ Wheatley’s McNish urges at GHA research launch

Glasgow Housing Association’s research – launched today (Friday 18) at Glasgow City Chambers – shows that the organisation has contributed £2 billion to Scotland’s economy since the stock transfer from Glasgow City Council in 2003.

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Speaking at the launch, Alastair McNish OBE, group chairman of Wheatley Group, emphasised that partnership was key to its success. He said;

“My key message is that GHA, along with every subsidiary of the Wheatley Group, utterly believes in the power of partnership.

“We recognise that only through partnership, can we achieve the objectives, strategic thinking, vision and moral social professional commitments to the people we serve, many of whom remain to be vulnerable and disadvantaged.”

The research, carried out by the Fraser of Allander Institute, showed that GHA had invested almost £1.6 billion upgrading more than 70,000 homes; £285 million in building new, affordable housing in the city; and almost £70 million on community infrastructure.

It built over 2,485 new homes between 2003-2017 and has another 957 under construction, with 1,400 more in the pipeline.

This investment resulted in the creation of over 2,500 jobs. Nearly two thirds of these jobs came from ‘New Entrants’, which include apprentices, trainees and those coming straight from unemployment.

GHA’s Tenant Chair, Bernadette Hewitt, said: “The transformation of social housing in Glasgow has been a key element in the resurgence of this great city over the past 15 years.

“This report is great news for Glasgow and for Scotland. It shows how what an impact GHA’s investment has made on Glasgow and Scotland. GHA’s massive modernisation, demolition and re-provisioning programme has changed not only the Glasgow skyline, it has ensured tens of thousands of families across the city are living in modern, warm, safe and fuel-efficient homes. It also demonstrates the acute need for excellent, safe, quality and affordable housing in Scotland. We look forward to working with all the housing associations in Glasgow and beyond to achieve this commitment.”

Councillor Susan Aitken, leader of Glasgow City Council, said:

“GHA’s investment has been pivotal in the biggest physical transformations this city has experienced in the modern era, replacing substandard and derelict housing with modern, safe, warm homes. It has improved the health and well-being of thousands of Glaswegians, revitalised communities, transformed lives and created sustainable job opportunities amongst many of our communities which need them most.”

Professor Graeme Roy of the Fraser of Allander Institute said of his research:

“This isn’t a positive spin document that GHA has put together itself, it says a lot that they came to an independent research institute. This is an academic economic analysis of the effect GHA’s investment has had on Glasgow and Scotland.”

The research was commissioned in 2018 by GHA and conducted by the Fraser of Allander Institute (FAI) at the University of Strathclyde, reviewing the economic impact of GHA’s expenditure over the last 15 years, dating back to 2003.