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Last Updated: Friday, 5 March, 2004, 14:57 GMT
Scotland: Glasgow housing transfer
David Eyre
Broadcast Journalist, Politics Show Scotland

The 'great Glasgow housing transfer', in March 2003, was the biggest shake up in Scottish housing for years.

Glasgow City Council signed over 80,000 homes to the new Glasgow Housing Association (GHA).

Cracked wall
Inject 4bn of investment into Glasgow's rundown housing stock

Fans of the scheme point out that it is due to inject 4bn of investment into the city's rundown housing stock.

Opponents claimed it was not democratic to take an important social asset out of the hands of elected councillors.

In January 2004 the GHA's chief executive Bob Allan stepped down after being off work with illness for six months.

New chief executive Michael Lennon took over.

This month he had to respond to leaks in the press stating that the amount of rent arrears in the city had reached 9.56m.

In response the GHA says it will take an aggressive approach to tenants who run up debts.

The association says it will help those who cannot pay, but take strong action against those who will not.

Has the GHA gone too far?

Broken window
The Housing Association has evicted 91 people

So far the association has evicted 91 people, following through on eviction proceedings started by the city council when it was landlord.

Many other tenants are going through the process but have not yet reached the final eviction stage.

Lawyer Mike Dailly of the Govan Law Centre in Glasgow has been acting for one woman threatened with eviction by the GHA.

He says the association acted illegally because at the time it took action against the tenant, they had not been given the legal right to chase up arrears owed to the city council.

The GHA says it got that right - enshrined in a document called a 'Minute of Assignation' - in December.

But the document makes it clear that although the association can sue for cash owed to the council, they cannot use it as a basis for eviction.

Wrongful eviction

The Govan Law Centre says it believes dozens of tenants may have been wrongfully evicted and is urging them to come forward to take legal advice.

It says they may be due compensation of up to 25,000 for being illegally evicted.

The GHA maintains that it has a duty to chase up bad debts so it can provide the services it wants.

And it points out that it has employed benefits advisers to help tenants who get into financial trouble.

Reporter Amber Henshaw has been to Glasgow to talk to the people involved.

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