Govanhill Housing Association: providing safe secure housing in the South of Glasgow

Govanhill Housing Association is a community-controlled social landlord operating in the Govanhill and Merrylee neighbourhoods of Glasgow.

They own and manage more than 2,800 homes for social rent and manage and maintain the common parts of land or property for a further 1,500 privately owned properties.

The Association also works in the area of social and economic development through its wholly owned subsidiary, Govanhill Community Development Trust (GCDT).

Social Problem

Govanhill is dominated by tenement housing, most of it built between 1890 and 1912 and with some interwar tenements too. At various points some of this housing has fallen into disrepair, in part as a result of bad practice in the private rented sector, and a lack of investment.


Registered in 1974, the Association’s roots lie in Glasgow’s policy of large-scale demolitions of slum housing from the late 1950s/1960s onwards. The local authority acquired powers to declare housing action areas for improvement, and grants became available to buy and refurbish tenement housing. This facilitated a new breed of housing associations – Govanhill among them – which acted as buyers, developers, and managers of tenement housing. Led by local residents, these housing associations were to become renewal agents in working class communities.

Govanhill Housing Association continues to be led by local people and works towards achieving its vision, that everyone in Govanhill and Merrylee should enjoy good quality, warm, safe and affordable housing that contributes to their health and wellbeing and to community pride.


Charity Bank provided a loan of £3.25m towards the acquisition of more than 150 homes for improvement and the development of 88 new-build homes, 64 of which are currently built and tenanted.


The 88 new-build homes, located across three sites in Govanhill, have enabled the association to respond to local housing need, including providing accommodation more suited for families (much of the housing stock in the area is made up of 1 and 2 bedroom flats). These modern new homes have been built with energy efficiency in mind, bringing down the cost of energy bills for residents.

“Of the lenders I’ve ever worked with, Charity Bank has been one of the easiest. There’s a lot of trust and understanding of the not-for profit and housing sectors in the bank.”

Shannon Watson, Head of Finance & IT, Govanhill Housing Association

About Charity Bank

Charity Bank is the loans and savings bank owned by and committed to supporting the social sector. Since 2002, we have used our savers’ money to make more than 1,000 loans totalling over £300m to housing, education, social care, community and other social purpose organisations.

Find out more about us here.

Nothing in this article constitutes an invitation to engage in investment activity nor is it advice or a recommendation and professional advice should be taken before any course of action is pursued.