By Martin Graham
Glasgow City Council has announced a £1.5m fund to help private homeowners to carry out essential repair work.
The fund, along with the new powers granted to local authorities as part of the Housing (Scotland) Act 2006, means that the council can enforce work to be carried out to resolve the issue, especially prevalent in tenements, where a minority of owners are unwilling to pay their share of essential repairs.
The money will be allocated from the Council’s Private Sector Housing pot and will be set aside into a fund that can be used to cover the costs of moderate repair work carried out under statutory notice.
Work paid from the fund will be replenished as accounts and fees are repaid to the council, with the local authority charging a fee of 15% to cover its technical and administrative costs.
A lack of participation by some homeowners often means that problems such as rain penetration is not dealt with, dampness not treated and this lack of timely remedial action leads to a much more serious and expensive repair, and misery for those owners willing, but unable, to get consensus to address the problem.
Until now, the council was unable to assist owners or property mangers in carrying out this work because it did not have the necessary resources to cope the scale of the problem and the housing services lacked the appropriate power to enforce the work by all owners.
As reported in the Local News previously, lack of repairs to properties can lead to buildings becoming dangerous, like the property on Cathcart Road in Mount Florida which was in such poor repair that masonry was falling on to the pavement below.
Councillor Elaine McDougall, Executive Member for Housing, said: ‘We regularly receive calls from frustrated home owners, across the city, in tenemental properties, who cannot gain agreement from all owners to pay for minor but essential repair work to their properties.
‘Up until now, we have been unable to assist all of these owners or property managers but this new power allows us to enforce the work to be carried out and recover the full cost from all the owners.
‘This scheme will help to improve the quality of the city’s older housing stock, preserving it for future generations, and I would hope that if proved successful, this self-sustaining fund can be expanded in the future.’
This is a step towards the model for property management common in Edinburgh, where there are no factors for tenement closes, rather the council acts as property manager and issues statutory notices for essential repairs to each homeowner.
Southside parents are invited to an open day at the newly-launched Little Einstein’s kindergarten in Nithsdale Road, Pollokshield, on Saturday, October 31, between 10.00am and 1.30pm.
Nithsdale House Nursery provides a first-class early learning experience for children from shortly after birth until they are ready for the first days of primary school.
The new facility – the latest in a thriving business with four premises in Tayside and two in Glasgow – has created 20 jobs for a team of qualified and professional carers.
Nithsdale House expands and enhances Little Einstein’s offering of the Hillside Crèche and the Hillside Clubhouse in Mansewood in Glasgow, which meet increasing levels of demand from parents in the surrounding area and beyond.
The new facility, at the corner of Nithsdale Road and Shields Road, provides parents with a safe, secure and nurturing environment where children can progress through the early stages of personal development.
For all 52 weeks of the year, it offers four huge and comprehensively equipped learning areas where children of different ages will be cared for by staff in ratios as intensive as one nursery professional to every three children.
Children also have frequent access to a pleasant and secure outdoor garden area and they are further stimulated by outings to the local community.
Nithsdale House’s cook provides healthy nutritious meals and snacks to cater for all dietary and cultural requirements.
Nithsdale House’s Nursery Manager, Leighann Bain, said: ‘We seek to build a strong and effective working relationship with parents so that they can be satisfied that their child is happy, safe and well-stimulated at all times.
‘We aim to provide an environment in which each child can grow and develop at its own pace and where staff plan responsively to children’s needs to ensure that learning is of the best possible value to children as individuals.’