An unprecedent deal between politicians and developers has been exposed by the Burgh Angel. Government guidelines say that when private developers build new homes, they must also build a portion of social homes. This should have been the case in Maryhill Locks, but the Burgh Angel has learned that Councillors and Ministers have stepped in to ensure that social homes are not built. Because the developers are to build on areas that used to be social homes, they would have been under tight legal obligations to deliver new social homes. Instead homes intended for needy, hardworking families lwho have been waiting for years, will not be built.
Power In Community Organiser Nick Durie, who is working to strengthen and increase the power of local residents groups in the area, commented to the Angel that, “This is exactly the sort of thing that happens when leaders are not held to account. They behave without any kind of accountability. We don’t know yet if there is something dodgy about this deal, but the fact that it has been signed off on – apparently in secret – arouses suspicion.”
The Angel asked the Housing Minister Keith Brown, and the former Housing Minister Alex Neil (who signed off on the deal) to comment, but they are yet to provide a reply. We also went to the Councillor leading on the development ( a “Tranformational Regeneration Area” or “TRA” which the council has a committee for) and asked for a comment. Councillor Stephen Curran, the Chair of the TRA Committee unfortunately was too busy to comment.
New social homes – not in Maryhill?
“Social Home Swick”
One Maryhill resident on the waiting list said, “It is tough enough to get housing. We’ve been waiting so long now, but to find out that the politicians have been doing deals to actually stop housing being built seems totally wrong.”
Maryhill Anti Cuts group member, and local community activist John Lawson told the Angel that this looks like a cut to homes. “At a time when housing is becoming scarce and people’s bills are rising, to find out that hundreds of homes have been cut by the Council and the Government seems like a Social Home Swick. There are hundreds of families that have been waiting for too long now for a home they can call their own. We need to find out what went on here. There is an election coming up. Heads should roll for any dodgy deals made. Lining pockets by cutting family homes in Maryhill is an outrage.”
The Burgh Angel will be pursuing this story over the coming months to uncover what went on to deny the building of hundreds of social homes in the Maryhill Burgh area, and who, and what, was behind these unprecedented housing deals.