Government funding to tackle Glasgow Govanhill 'slums'

image captionSignificant numbers of apartment blocks are below standard

The Scottish government is to put £1.8m into tackling slum housing in the south side of Glasgow.

The move follows complaints that a sudden increase in the area's population has caused overcrowding and allowed rogue landlords to flourish.

Many of the flats in the Govanhill area are below tolerable standards and have been described as modern slums.

The government funding will be spent on renovating properties and will support a hit squad to take on bad landlords.

Govanhill, whose local population is ethnically mixed and has the biggest concentration of Roma families in Scotland, has some of the most severe housing problems in the UK.

Scottish Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon, who is the MSP for Govan, said: "This funding will help to breathe new life into Govanhill.

"The area has been plagued by unscrupulous private landlords who flout the law by renting out flats, which are overcrowded and fall below the tolerable standard.

"I am aware that local residents have demanded more action to deal with landlords that have, for too long, been trading in misery."

The minister said: "It is time to draw a line in the sand and create an enforcement squad that will pursue rogue landlords in Govanhill."

A total of £1.5m will support the refurbishment and redesign of the backcourts of Govanhill tenement blocks.

The special enforcement squad, backed by £300,000 over two years and comprising police, fire officers and council staff, will also help root out rogue landlords exploiting tenants in the area.

Glasgow City Council leader Gordon Matheson welcomed the move, adding: "Considerable progress has already been made in the way the council and all its partners respond to Govanhill's problems, with significant resources directed towards the area, particularly in relation to housing."

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