Concerns about a potential takeover of one of Glasgow’s oldest housing associations have been raised.

Reidvale Housing Association, in Dennistoun, is balloting tenants on whether to transfer to Places for People, a large English-based housing and care group.  

Reidvale was formed in 1975 and has around 900 homes in the Dennistoun area.

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Stating concerns about governance and investment, the board decided to seek a partner to take over the association, its tenancies, properties and staff.

MSPs in the area, however, fear the process is being presented as a foregone conclusion and are concerned about the potential loss of local accountability and community assets being controlled by a large corporation.

Paul Sweeney, Glasgow Labour MSP, said: “The problems can be resolved and still have community control.”

Sweeney raised the issue with the Scottish Parliament Housing Committee on Tuesday when it heard from the Housing Regulator.

He said: “I've observed 18 separate regulatory breaches, conflicts of interest, and procedural abuses by the director and management committee within the Housing Association”.

He added the association has 900 tenements in a highly desirable part of Glasgow, with no debt secured against them, which he said is quite unusual for a housing association.

The MSP said there didn’t seem to be any proactive efforts to support the community to improve the governance of the housing association without having to surrender control of the assets.

Sweeney said several professionals in other community-based housing associations offered to come in and support a restructuring without “having to surrender control of the assets to a large national housing group” but he added they were “denied and blocked by the Scottish housing regulator”.

Geroge Walker, Chair Scottish Housing Regulator, said serious concerns remain over governance and financial management at Reidvale.

He said: “There's no long-term investment programme. They've now established that many of its homes require significant investment and in its most recent annual assurance statement, it said that it cannot meet its investment requirements.”

Together with Ivan McKee, Provan SNP MSP and Annie Wells, Glasgow Conservative MSP, Sweeney has written to the Regulator with concerns about the transfer process.

They noted, “no initial ballot of tenants was undertaken before a preferred transfer partner was found”.

And said: “At community events to engage with tenants about the proposed merger, signage was used with the logo of Places for People emblazoned on the literature, implying that this was an already agreed affirmative action taken.

“This is also the case with the Reidvale Housing Association website. We believe this to be coercive and manipulative.”

A spokesperson for Places for People said: "Following a survey carried out by Reidvale of its tenants which concluded in May, 72% of tenants in the survey named Places for People Scotland as the preferred transfer partner. Since that time, Places for People Scotland has worked with Reidvale Housing Association to consult with tenants and further refine the business case for the transfer based on tenant feedback and priorities.   "A decision has not, and will not, be made until tenants have had the opportunity to vote in the independent tenant ballot, the deadline for which is 11 December 2023.  

"We have committed that £13.7 million in investment will be made if we are selected by Reidvale tenants, which we will use to improve the quality of housing. Over the course of the last few months, we have been open and transparent with tenants and the wider community with the aim of sharing information about the investment plan, our work in Scotland and commitment to communities."

Reidvale Housing Association was contacted for comment.