The City - Wide Tenant Satisfaction Survey carried out by Glasgow Housing Association (GHA) in 2006 revealed that only 40% of their tenants rated their outside space as good. Based on these results, over the past 3 years, Glasgow Housing Association has embarked on Europes largest housing refurbishment project - to upgrade their entire housing stock and improve the living conditions of around 70,000 of their tenants. A key element of this upgrade was to deliver a framework of Environmental improvements creating new or improved Green Spaces.
What we did
We designed the works to focus on ensuring the environs of GHA properties (front and rear gardens, backcourts and associated open areas) were brought up to a standard which met the requirements of the Scottish Housing Quality Standards (SHQS). The main elements included alterations, repairs
- paving, kerbs and stepped areas
- fences, gates and handrails
- bin enclosures and retaining walls
- field and other drainage including manholes
- grass/shrub soft landscaping
We believed resident involvement was crucial to the sustainability of works, so we arranged Open Days to give our Project Managers the opportunity to talk through the works and to give residents the opportunity to ask questions and air concerns. Regular newsletters were also produced to keep tenants up to date with the works in their area.
In response to the need to improve feelings of security, as well as minimising the possibility of crime and anti-social behaviour, we included a number of measures into the redesign of the outdoor space:
Paving & uncomfortable to stand on
- Lighting Strategy — in consultation with the Police Architectural Liaison Officer
- 1.8m Metal Fencing – securing tenant shared areas
- Prickle Strips & to deter climbing over walls
- Roll Bars & to prevent climbing of walls
We took on 8 new entrant trainees/long?term unemployed employees which equated to 15% of the workforce, exceeding our previously set target of 10%. We also took the opportunity to get involved with the local high schools outreach programme, taking on a pupil for work experience.
We not only improved the properties front and rear gardens, backcourts and associated open areas to meet Scottish Housing Quality Standards, but we also helped reduce local unemployment. Furthermore, the successful delivery of the contract helped develop a number of mutually beneficial arrangements between Turner FM and local organisations ? one example of this being Scotstounhill Bowling Club. The club allowed Turner FM use of their car park as our site compound whilst works were being carried out on neighbouring.
Goldberry Avenue. In return, on the completion of the works, we cleared and improved the car park for use by the Bowling Club members & many of which were Goldberry Avenue tenants!