Wednesday, March 14, 2007
Draft Newsletter - The Neighbour, Issue One, March 07
Give us your views on the first of our monthly newsletters, The Neighbour. We want to hear from YOU!
The Neighbour, Issue One, March 07
Labels: The Neighbour
Saturday, November 25, 2006
washing machine victory
Tenant Alice Coy of the middle block has now had her water pressure fixed to allow her to run a washing machine. Previously water travelled from a rooftop storage tank to a tank in her house. As the water was coming from a tank in her house the pressure wasn't sufficient to run a washing machine. Her water also tasted nasty as the tank will never have been cleaned. Now a pipe has been fitted to miss out this tank.
"My water tastes great... I've been washing an industrial amount of clothes since I got it fixed."
Before Alice had to manually fill her washing machine, in a degrading and tedious process that lasted twenty minutes or more, and required her to be at home by the washing machine while cleaning her clothes.
"I'm a student - I need clean uniforms every day."
GHA had told Alice that a washing machine was a luxury item, and that if she got the repairs necessary to make hers work properly done privately then she would be liable for any damage caused. This is what they tell all tenants in Cedar. However Alice challenged the local housing manager Stephen McAvoy during a meeting organised by the tenants association that his wife wouldn't like to be told that a washing machine was a luxury item. McAvoy agreed, and as the meeting was recorded and the transcript posted on this website, Alice has never since been told that a washing machine is a luxury item. In fact the GHA carried out a study and paid a contractor to look into the problem. The contractor then issued a report which was passed onto the tenants association outlining the options available for the GHA. The recommended solution costs them £250 per household. This is less than they make a month from each of us (average rent bills are around £300 per month). It took a while, and much faffing but eventually Alice's washing machine is now fixed, is yours?
The tenants association is aware that people are still being told that a washing machine is a luxury item. Yet Alice's washing machine has now been fixed. Alice doesn't think it's fair that she should get special treatment because she's annoyed the GHA with constant emails and telephone calls. Neither do we. If you live in Cedar and you have a water pressure problem, you can't run your washing machine, or your water isn't fit to drink we want to hear from you. Let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org today
Tenant pressure works
Alice has now had her water pressure fixed because she, and the rest of the tenants association didn't take 'NO!' for an answer. The lifts in the three tower blocks are now being fixed because we fought for them to be fixed, and a number of other victories have been achieved.
We will fight to ensure fairness. If the GHA can fix the water pressure for Alice, they can fix it for everyone else, now.
Join the tenants Association today, and help us fight for a better community. With your help we get stronger and everyone benefits.
Email: email@example.com if you have any queries about this post, or the association, you live in Cedar and want to join the association, or if you have water pressure problems and you want us to take up your case.
Our tenants Association
"Our tenants association has been going for 18 months now. We started up after
the lift that services my floor broke down and was off for over 4 months with
no explanation or official word from the housing department. So we booked a
room in a local community centre and wrote a leaflet which we delivered to
every flat saying how angry we were about the lift, and telling everyone about
At first the housing were totally dismissive of us because they wanted us to be
a sweetheart association. They tried to dictate our constitution and wanted to
sit in on all our meetings. However we just carried on anyway. We set up an
email account and a blog, which is a very easy way to have a website that can
be kept up to date.
We've already had successes with the main things we've been campaigning on. The
lift motors are currently being replaced on all 6 lifts that service the 3 high
rise blocks. One of our members has got her plumbing fixed so that she now can
run a washing machine. That was a big battle as the water pressure is too low
in most of the flats but the housing don't want to have to pay to put it right
One major lesson we've learnt is to escalate to the next person up the chain if
you don't get anywhere with the housing officer. Also we contact our
councilors, MSPs and MPs if we aren't happy with the response from the housing.
We have put out press releases and got in the local newspaper a couple of times
which really embarrassed the housing. We also painted on 2 large sheets "FIX
OUR LIFTS NOW" and hung them from the top floor balconies – they looked amazing
and you could see them across the whole neighbourhood!
If you're not prepared to fight for what you want, you won't get it. The first
step is to complain, but don't let it lie, keep on demanding that they fix the
problem. Talk to your neighbours. Most people in our blocks had given up trying
to get things done, whether it was repairs to their own flats or the common
areas. But its that attitude that lets our communities crumble away. We need to
fight for the fabric of our neighbourhoods because with a bit of effort we can
get improvements not just in the buildings but also in people's confidence that
we really can get together and shape a better world.
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
Cedar Goes To Maryhill...
[Cedar Tenants Association Supported the Small Demonstration, which marched to Maryhill Local Housing Office, and which forced a manager to come out and speak to the assembled crowd]
Why Are Cumlodden
Residents Still Being
Forced To Live In
Meet: 1:30PM - Cumlodden Evangelical Church, Cumlodden Drive
March to: Maryhill Local Housing Office, Gairbraid Avenue.
Residents of the Cumlodden Estate in Maryhill have been the subject of years of neglect by their landlord, the GHA, and before that by the council. Many residents currently do not have flushing toilets, and have had to cope with Eastern European piping fitted by GHA blocking and causing effluent spillage in their homes. For months now Community Housing Manager Bill Lanigan has been making a series of promises to residents, often in writing, to state that investment is due to be made, all of them have proven false. This culminated last week in a meeting held for residents in the area called by the GHA where the landlord tried to disavow earlier promises of installing apex roofs to the flatroofed damp properties. Residents had had enough and voted against the betrayal, for new apex roofs to make their homes watertight.
Come along on Wednesday the 27th September, at 1:30PM, at Cumlodden Drive and show your support for a Maryhill Community that is fighting to be treated fairly.
Demonstration supported by the Glasgow Residents Network and a number of Glasgow Residents Associations – we expect people to come from across the city to lend their support so we also need to see as many people from the local area as possible – we need answers and we need them now.
Sunday, October 01, 2006
Anger over GHA 'neglect' - Evening Times Article
Anger over GHA 'neglect'
MARK ROONEY, left, and Graham McGunnagle say GHA has badly let them down
ANGRY residents from three city tower blocks have accused Glasgow's biggest landlord of neglecting their homes.
Cedar Tenants' Association uncovered a range of complaints when they asked hundreds of residents at Cedar Court blocks in Maryhill what they thought of Glasgow Housing Association's performance.
Their survey found 80% of residents said there were not enough facilities for children in the area, while two-thirds said their rents were too high.
Meanwhile, 63% of residents said their water was undrinkable and a further half reported having problems running a washing machine because of low water pressure.
Exposed wiring is also a safety concern for residents, as vandals routinely rip covers off the wall.
Tenants' Association member Mark Rooney, who is registered blind, claimed GHA was continually letting them down.
He said: "We are being treated like second-class citizens. We're always hearing how other GHA tenants have had their homes improved and upgraded, while ours are left in a state of ruin and neglect."
Fellow resident Graham McGunnagle, 20, added: "The fire door on our landing disappeared last week and should have been replaced within 24 hours. Five days later we're still waiting.
"GHA are a disaster - they haven't got a clue."
A Glasgow Housing Association spokeswoman said: "The Cedar Court properties fall within the Queens Cross Housing Association Local Housing Organisation area and have already seen significant refurbishment including the installation of new heating systems and new windows.
"Plans have now been approved for improvements to the two local play parks serving Cedar Court within the next six months.
"We have only been advised by one tenant about problems with the water pressure in one household and offered them immediate solutions, unfortunately the tenant has not
followed our advice."