Cube Housing Association could join forces with GHA and Loretto under £600m investment proposal
A new structure for three Wheatley Group housing associations could pave the way for over £600 million to be invested in new and existing homes and the creation of hundreds of new jobs.
Under the proposals, GHA and Cube Housing Association would come together as one tenant-led organisation in Glasgow with all Cube tenants outwith the city transferring their tenancies to Loretto Housing.
If approved by tenants, the plans would result in:
- rent increases being limited to 1% per annum for three years for all existing Cube tenants and over 3300 GHA tenants currently paying higher rents;
- over £270m being invested in modernising and improving thousands of GHA, Cube and Loretto homes in Glasgow and the West of Scotland between 2021-26;
- a rent guarantee there would be no increase above 2.9% for all GHA, Cube and Loretto tenants for the full five years;
- 600 additional new homes being built by GHA and Cube combined (rising from 1500 to 2100) and Loretto’s new-build programme being boosted from 170 homes to 500;
- the opportunity to kick start regeneration of areas, such as Wyndford in Maryhill and Cranhill in the east of Glasgow;
- and the creation of 2800 new jobs, apprenticeships and training opportunities across the west of Scotland;
GHA tenant chair Bernadette Hewitt said: “These ambitious proposals would enable us to do so much more for tenants, their families and communities. Bringing together GHA and Cube in Glasgow would give us the opportunity not only to strengthen tenant representation on the board, but to keep rents even more affordable, unlock substantial additional investment, borrow at a cheaper rate and create hundreds of new jobs.”
The proposals follow Cube board’s decision earlier this year to tackle head on two long-standing major issues: its continuing higher level of rents (relative to other social landlords) and the need to step up the regeneration of and investment in its Wyndford estate.
Cube chair Peter Kelly said: “After a comprehensive strategic and financial review, we concluded this simply couldn’t be done as a stand-alone organisation, even within Wheatley Group. In joining forces with GHA and Loretto, we can offer strong rent guarantees, improve the homes and lives of all tenants involved and build even more new homes.”
The starting point in the plans will be two tenant ballots early next year: one involving Cube’s 2767 tenants in Glasgow, who will be asked to transfer their tenancies to GHA, and the second involving its 1084 tenants outwith the city, who will be given the opportunity to transfer theirs to Loretto.
Loretto Housing chair Douglas Robin added: “We will consult every single tenant and member of staff involved in these plans, together with our other stakeholders, in how we take forward these exciting proposals.
“We are pledging no jobs will be lost and more money and opportunities will become available through these mergers to build and maintain even better homes and services. Tenants will continue to be at the heart of all major decisions going forward and this will ensure every part of Wheatley continues to be deeply rooted in the communities it supports across Scotland.”