THE owners of two empty flats causing serious health and safety issues in Govanhill tenements will be forced to sell them.

Glasgow City Council has given the green light to compulsory purchase orders at the South Side flats.

One, at 29 Annette Street, has lain empty since August 2019, while the other, at 35 Westmoreland Street, has been unoccupied since August 2017.

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Under the plan, the flats will eventually be owned by Govanhill Housing Association.

Councillor Kenny McLean, City Convener for Neighbourhoods, Housing and Public Realm at Glasgow City Council, said: ”The compulsory purchase of these properties in Govanhill will bring them back to productive use, creating new homes in the area and helping in its regeneration. 

"We will continue to work with our partners to tackle the blight of empty homes across the city in order to meet housing need and improve the lives and environments of our communities.”

Housing bosses said that the empty flat on Annette Street has added to problems in the close area where owners have failed to carry out maintenance works, leading to the suspension of factoring services.

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A missing balustrade on the first floor landing is causing serious health and safety issues.

Govanhill Housing Association has tried to take over the property on a voluntary basis as it is owned by two people, one of whom refused to sell.

The flat at 35 Westmoreland Street has been empty since August 2017 following the owner being struck off the Private Landlord Register.

The owner has been declared bankrupt and the property is in negative equity.

As a result the mortgage lender is reluctant to take possession of the flat, which is preventing it from being brought back into use.

Local councillor Soryia Siddique said: "Compulsory purchase of properties falling into disrepair in Govanhill is an ongoing strategy from the Govanhill Acquisition Programme.

"It is a welcomed step in ensuring properties in disrepair are brought to health and safety standards and add to needed social housing in the area.

"I will continue to campaign for positive improvements in Govanhill."

'Back-to-back’ agreements with Govanhill Housing Association for the flats, which will see - on completion of the compulsory purchase order - the ownership of the homes transferred to the housing association, have been agreed under emergency delegated powers by council officers.

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The council’s Empty Homes Strategy aims to turn empty properties in Glasgow into living homes, increase local housing supply and boost the regeneration of neighbourhoods.

Both flats were identified as long-term empty homes as part of that scheme.

The funding for the acquisition of the properties by Govanhill Housing Association will be made available through the council’s Affordable Housing Supply Programme (AHSP) budget.