The new Maryhill plan – new back and front door houses for half of the current tenants – is exactly what Botany tenants were told in 2001.
Fears are that the same story will be repeated again.
Six years on, after being moved out of their homes to temporary decants, there is still no sign of any social rented housing in the Botany. And the Botany tenants have now been told that even if they ever are let back in, it will only be to 4 storey closes, rather than the back and front doors they were promised.
The Botany was betrayed.
Patricia Ferguson, Member of the Scottish Parliament for Maryhill, personally promised back and front door houses to Botany tenants. As a cabinet minister in the Scottish Executive she was in a position to deliver on that promise.
But chasing lucrative land deals around the canal proved more important to local politicians – private developers would pay more for a larger block of land, so decanted tenants were made to wait for other areas around the canal to be cleared and ready for sale. Then plans were hatched to remove rented housing altogether – private luxury flats are worth more if there are no social renting neighbours nearby.
Some Botany families have been left in badly overcrowded temporary decants for years, having taken smaller flats than they were entitled to because they were promised it would only be for a few months. Tenants have also been moved from one temporary decant to another, as they in turn have gone on to be scheduled for demolition over the long wait.