Glasgow Housing Association boosts GDP by £2bn

Glasgow Housing Association’s investment programme for the past 15 years – the biggest of its kind in Europe – has boosted Scotland’s gross domestic product (GDP) by £2 billion and supported thousands of jobs, according to a new report.

The study, by the Fraser of Allander Institute (FAI), reviewed the impact of GHA’s modernisation of more than 70,000 former city council homes since stock transfer in 2003 and the building of thousands of new affordable houses and flats.

The report says that over the 15 years of GHA’s capital expenditure programme – from its inception in 2003-04 – around £2 billion will have been added to Scotland’s GDP helping to support about 2,425 full-time equivalent jobs per year.

The report reveals that GHA, the largest subsidiary of Wheatley — Scotland’s leading housing, care and property management group — invested almost £1.6 billion upgrading more than 70,000 homes; £285 million in building new, affordable housing in the city; and almost £70 million on community infrastructure.

GHA built over 2,485 new homes between 2003 and 2017 and has another 957 under construction, with 1,400 more in the pipeline.

A further £45 million has been invested in community regeneration, supporting and improving the well-being of tenants.

The report also reveals that during the year 2016-17 GHA activities contributed £153 million to the Scottish economy.

Professor Graeme Roy of the Fraser of Allander Institute said: “Our analysis examines the economic contribution of GHA through its day-to-day activities and traces the knock-on boost to the wider Glasgow and Scottish economy through its supply chain.

“We find that, for the year we study, 2016-17, GHA’s activities support around £150 million of GDP to the Scottish economy, equivalent to around 2,575 jobs.

“That is a substantial contribution.”

GHA’s Tenant Chair, Bernadette Hewitt, said: “The transformation of social housing in Glasgow has been a key element in the resurgence of this great city over the past 15 years.

“GHA’s massive modernisation, demolition and re-provisioning programme has changed not only the Glasgow skyline, it has ensured tens of thousands of families across the city are living in modern, warm, safe and fuel-efficient homes.”

Councillor Susan Aitken, leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “These are hugely impressive figures and the contribution to the Glasgow economy by GHA’s continued and sustained housing investment cannot be under-estimated.

“But it is what that investment has helped achieve, what has been delivered since the 2003 Housing Stock Transfer, which is truly momentous.

“It has been pivotal in the biggest physical transformations this city has experienced in the modern era, replacing substandard and derelict housing with modern, safe, warm homes.

“And it has improved the health and well-being of thousands of Glaswegians, revitalised communities, transformed lives and created sustainable job opportunities amongst many of our communities which need them most.

“GHA, and indeed the wider social housing sector, are invaluable partners in what the Glasgow City Government is striving to achieve for our citizens. This report testifies to that.”

About the Author

Mark McSherry
Dalriada Media LLC sites are edited by veteran news journalist Mark McSherry, a former staff editor and reporter with Reuters, Bloomberg and major newspapers including the South China Morning Post, London's Sunday Times and The Scotsman. McSherry's journalism has also appeared in The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Independent, The New York Times, London's Evening Standard and Forbes. McSherry is also a professor of journalism and communication arts in universities and colleges in New York City. Scottish-born McSherry has an MBA from the University of Edinburgh and a Certificate in Global Affairs from New York University.