GLASGOW housing Association started work on its 1000th new house last year.
“We have made significant progress with the new build programme,” the organisation said as it measured its own performance over the decade.
“We are, at the moment, one of the biggest housing developers in Scotland.
“We have built, or have in progress, 75% of the new homes we intended to build and expect to meet our target in the next few years.”
Other housing associations have continued building, especially during the years before the credit crunch of 2008.
But, overall, social housing new builds in Glasgow have been falling steadily since, from 1433 starts in 2009-10 to 1184 in 2010-11 and 1157 in 2011-12, according to figures from the Scottish Government.
But in terms of construction jobs, GHA’s role has become crucial to both the city’s and the nation’s economy.
The number of new homes of any kind, including private ones, being built in Glasgow has almost halved since its peak in 2004, and many builders and building firms are desperate for work.
GHA has stuck by its pledges on rents.
It said they would go up by no more than inflation for the five years after transfer.
It also said it would then keep any increases below inflation +1%.
The landlord froze rents in 2010/11 and for 2012-13 kept below the promised inflation +1%.
This was one of the biggest moans of tenants under the old council regime.
Routine, non-essential repairs had been a problem for nearly 20 years. This has become one of the success stories of GHA which saw it clear that enormous backlog within a year.
Now it says its appointment system means joiners, plumbers and electricians come out at a time that suits tenants.
It says it is also beating its promise to complete external work in less than 20 days.
This is one of the trickiest pledges to check.
How much influence do tenants really have in GHA?
Back in 2002 we were told there would be 62 local housing organisations, or LHOs, making all the big decisions about their neighbourhoods.
However, GHA believes tenant participation is another “mission accomplished”.
It said: “Our tenants have a real say on what happens to their homes and neighbourhoods through local committees and the GHA board.
“Our relationship with our committees and our commitment to put tenants at the heart of decision making is set out in the LHO/GHA charter.
“In 2010 we also created area committees, which are made up of tenants and other community representatives.
“They each have a substantial budget, which they can choose to spend on vital regeneration projects in their area.”
THIS was the biggest pledge of all. Tenants and readers of the Evening Times were told that, by the autumn of 2013, every home in the city would meet a new “Glasgow standard”.
This would be delivered at a cost of £1.3billion. GHA has not only done that but accomplished it under budget at £1.183bn. How? Because it “changed the way we procure goods and services”.
Improvements include: affordable central heating; new windows; modern fitted kitchens and bathrooms.
The bald figures are that GHA has completed 43,092 central heating systems; 14,192 windows, 45,934 kitchens; 45,670 bathrooms.
It has overclad 40,098 homes; reroofed 38,194; and rewired another 42,924.
RIGHT TO BUY
Tenants were told the housing stock transfer would not change their rights to purchase their homes.
GHA didn’t – but the Scottish Government has.
Any new tenant from 2011 does not have the right to buy, nor does any current tenant who moves into a new build.
One of the big selling points of the housing stock transfer was GHA’s plan to set up a Neighbourhood Relations Team.
It has done so – helping to tackle long-standing issues, such as noisy late-night- parties and drug dealing.
But GHA has also forged new and highly-effective relationships with the police and fire service and now helps to fund an entire police unit of 12 constables, two sergeants and an inspector.
It also has a fire station commander on secondment.
GHA promised to create 3100 jobs. It has more than met that promise.
Officially, it says 4337 people have got work through its efforts, including those hired by contractors who, under the terms of their deal with the landlord, must offer jobs and apprenticeships to local people.
However, the actual success may be even greater for the people of Glasgow than the association is claiming.
In 2011, Heriot Watt University, Edinburgh, calculated GHA had “created or supported” 9000 jobs, two-thirds of them for people living in Glasgow.