Barlinnie prisoners to help build Glasgow social homes
Scottish Housing News
A social enterprise scheme in Glasgow is giving current and former offenders the chance to help build 40 affordable homes as part of their rehabilitation.
The project, a partnership between Triodos Bank and Glasgow Together Community Interest Company, will see homes built on two initial plots in Baillieston and Riddrie.
In total 50 ex-offenders will be given paid work and taught construction skills such as brick laying, plastering, carpentry, painting and decoration as part of the project.
It will also provide a further 50 current offenders serving sentences in HMP Barlinnie with unpaid work experience and training in construction.
Up to 40 new affordable homes will be built with the help of the offenders who will gain valuable work experience whilst also learning skills that may help them reduce the likelihood of reoffending on release.
The scheme is funded by way of a £2 million bond, which has been issued to investors – the capital raised will be used to build social housing over the five-year life of the bond, as well as complete 10-15 restorations of sub-standard properties.
Once the properties have been completed they will be sold and the original capital, plus any profits, will be re-invested back into the business to finance further property purchases and further job creation.
Glasgow Together is hoping to raise £1.65m with the issuance. If it cannot raise £1.15m, all capital will be returned to investors.
Dan Hird, head of corporate finance at Triodos Bank, said: “We are pleased to be instrumental in the roll-out of the Together model to Scotland and confident the high-calibre management team and board will make a success of it.
“We believe the investment will appeal to charitable trusts, foundations, housing associations, corporates and other socially motivated individual investors who want to be part of the solution to breaking the cycle of re-offending in a sustainable manner.”
Although it is home to just 11 per cent of the Scottish population, Glasgow has a disproportionately high involvement with the criminal justice system, with 30.7 per cent of Glaswegian ex-offenders re-offending within a year.
Barry Mochan, chief executive officer Glasgow Together, said: “I am delighted to be part of the Together expansion. Glasgow Together offers a unique social investment opportunity by giving ex-offenders the training, skills and employment they need to help turn their lives around, through a sustainable commercial business model that can pay investors a return on their capital.”
Glasgow Together is a community interest company (CIC) that has a commercially sustainable business model involving building affordable housing and restoring sub-standard homes, engaging ex-offenders in the construction and refurbishment work.
The organisation is the result of the roll-out of the award winning social enterprises Bristol Together, established in 2011, and Midlands Together which have directly employed approximately 70 ex-offenders to date between them.