Parkhead needs more homes, says housing association chief

November 19, 2009 by  

There was a gentle chiding for central and local government as Parkhead Housing Association (PHA) officially broke ground on their latest housing development, a £4m, 25-home project in Duke Street.

Addressing a gathering that included Secretary of State for Scotland Jim Murphy, Frank McAveety MSP and Leader of Glasgow City Council Steven Purcell, PHA Chairman John Ferguson went a little off message in his welcoming speech to tell elected officials that while their work was appreciated by his community, more must be done to build homes and match the association’s ambitions.

He added: ‘We have 1,000 people on our waiting list. As far as Parkhead is concerned, if we can get the finance together, the ground together then we will build more houses.’

The newbuild in Duke Street, which is being developed by McTaggart Construction, will stand on the site of a bingo hall. Jim Murphy ruefully recalled that, as a youngster, he once applied for a job there but was happy to be back in an elevated capacity.

The project, which is funded by Glasgow City Council and a development loan from Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), will provide homes for let and help secure construction jobs in the present downturn, said PHA Chief Executive Jim Strang.

‘This is one project, and we have three other big ones on the drawing board and if the funding is made available, Scottish Government funding, these will become a reality. We have the private funding in place for every one of these.’

RBS regards Parkhead as ‘a very good deal’, he said. ‘We’ve got the (private) money. If central government give us the money, we’ll do the rest.’

Jim added: ‘Whiterose area phases 2 and 3 are the next big ones, mostly family-sized houses, and there’ll be 55 of them.’

Other projects in the pipeline include the redevelopment of the Quarrybrae Primary School site for 48 to 62 low rise homes, while 16 homes over two closes in a C-Listed tenement in Helenvale Street are to be renovated.

‘At the moment we’re building for rent,’ Jim explained. ‘That’s the business we’re in. We know the economy of the area, we know the needs of our community and for the foreseeable future that’s our game plan.

‘If the opportunity arose for low-cost shared ownership we’re happy to do that.’

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