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GHA's £7m transformation of multi-storey to offer rental homes for city's key workers

Friday, September 16, 2011

GHA has announced plans for a £7million transformation of a multi-storey which will provide affordable flats to rent for key workers and young professionals.

The proposed redevelopment of the block - near the new South Glasgow Hospital and the Digital Media Quarter at Pacific Quay - would also offer tenants a chance to buy their home at low cost later down the line.

The flats at 15 Ibroxholm Oval were formerly used for social housing. The block was due to be pulled down in the next few months together with two others on the site as part of regeneration plans for the area.

But the Scottish Government has approved a bid for £1.1m from its Innovation and Investment Fund towards the cost of redeveloping the block – paving the way for the multi-storey to be turned into 98 homes for mid market rent.  If planning permission is granted, work could start on the transformation early next year.

GHA’s Executive Director of Development and Regeneration Alex McGuire said: “We are determined at GHA to help increase the number of housing options people have in the city. Not everyone can buy in the current market and our research shows there is strong demand for homes with mid market rents. That’s particularly true in Greater Govan where regeneration is bringing a lot of people into the area to work.

“The flats we develop at 15 Ibroxholm Oval will be good quality, spacious homes with rents young professionals and key workers like nursing and medical staff will be able to afford. The flats are close to excellent transport links with underground stations, a range of good bus routes and the M8 nearby.

“The added bonus will be that we will be able to provide some of the longer-term tenants with an opportunity to progress to home ownership further down the line.”

The homes will be a mix of 42 one-bedroom flats and 56 two-bedroom flats. Rents are expected to be around £350 to £450 a month.

Demolition of the two nearby blocks, at 9 Ibrox Terrace and 8 Ibroxholm Oval, will go ahead as planned with contractors already on site carrying out preparation work on the first block. GHA is working in partnership with Glasgow City Council to bring forward plans for the regeneration of the remainder of the site.

Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure and Capital Investment Alex Neil said: "With the public purse under huge financial strain we need radical and innovative approaches to increase housing supply at maximum value for taxpayers' money.

"We called for fresh thinking and new ideas and in response councils, housing associations and private developers have risen to the challenge magnificently.”

GHA also secured a £360,000 grant from the Innovation and Investment Fund to buy 24 homes at a development in Strachur Wharf in Lambhill. GHA plans to buy the two-bedroom flats for around £2million and offer them at mid-market rent – with an option for some long-term tenants to buy them at a future date.

GHA Board Chair Gordon Sloan said: “I’m pleased the Scottish Government has shown this level of confidence in GHA and approved these grants which will allow us to bring forward more housing options for the people of Glasgow.”

The Ibroxholm project will also secure local jobs and training with the contractor required to recruit trainees and apprentices from within the city.

Redeveloping the block will be 15 times more carbon efficient than producing a like number of new-build properties. GHA will work with power companies to ensure the block has a modern, efficient heating system which reduces carbon emissions, helps deliver Sustainable Glasgow’s targets and keeps fuel bills affordable for residents.

The residents from all three blocks at Ibroxholm were rehoused in upgraded GHA properties, new-build homes or houses belonging to other Registered Social Landlords, many of them in the nearby area.

The two blocks at 8 Ibroxholm Oval and 9 Ibrox Terrace are to be taken down piece by piece by the UK’s tallest demolition machine.

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