Glasgow City Council to buy long-term empty homes and turn them into social housing

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Three properties, including a flat which appears to have been abandoned in 1999, are set to be bought by the council and brought back into use as social housing.

Glasgow City Council is planning compulsory purchase orders [CPO] for long-term empty flats at Balcurvie Road, Argyle Street and Allison Street — which would then be used to accommodate homeless people.

Housing associations are set to take over the management of the properties if the purchases, which councillors will be asked to back on Thursday, go ahead.

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They are the latest in a series of CPOs pursued by the council as part of efforts to “bring properties back into use as social housing and improve the condition of the housing stock”.

Yorkhill Housing Association, would take over the Argyle Street flat, where council officials have been unable to trace an owner, preventing a voluntary sale.

A council report states the flat “would appear to have been abandoned and not occupied since 1999”. The housing association currently factors the building, and would own five flats in the tenement after the deal.

Officials believe the Allison Street flat has been abandoned by the previous owner/landlord. It was found to be occupied and in poor condition.

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Those living at the property “advised they had no tenancy agreement and did not pay council tax”. They moved out in November and were “placed in temporary accommodation while awaiting permanent rehousing”.

Govanhill Housing Association, which has previously offered to buy the flat, would take over if the CPO is approved. It factors the building which is “in need of major common repair works”.

Provanhall Housing Association would manage the Balcurvie Road flat, which has been empty since February 2020. The former registered owner, a company, was dissolved in July 2019.

The council report states attempts by the housing association to “voluntarily acquire the flat have failed as the property is effectively ownerless”.

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It adds the council has “received confirmation from King’s and Lord Treasurer’s Remembrancer that they have no proposals to exert ‘Crown’ rights over this flat and have raised no objections to the council promoting a compulsory purchase order”.

Provanhall Housing Association is currently in the process of buying three other flats in the tenement and all four would be brought back into use as social housing after repairs have been completed.

According to officials, the deals will “facilitate an increase in the affordable housing supply, remove neighbourhood blight and ensure the future maintenance of these properties”.

“In all of the above cases the flats when acquired and brought up to standard will be allocated to homeless persons or families,” the report adds.

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Funding for the deals, where compensation is claimed, will be available to housing associations from the Scottish Government’s affordable housing supply programme budget.

Owners, where identified, will have an opportunity to sell on a voluntary basis before a compulsory purchase order is confirmed. They can seek compensation for the loss of their property.

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