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‘Commonwealth grandmother’ still homeless

February 11th 2012


A woman whose home in the east end of Glasgow was demolished to make way for the Commonwealth Games athletes’ village is still homeless almost a year after being evicted, The Pavement Scotland has learned.

Margaret Jaconelli, 52, and her husband Jack were evicted by Sheriff Court Officers and some 60 police officers after Glasgow City Council served them with a compulsory purchase order notice last March.

The couple had been the only remaining residents living on Ardenlea Street in Dalmarnock. They had lived amongst derelict buildings and boarded up windows since the block was cleared six years previously.

Jaconelli, a grandmother who bought her ground floor home 36 years ago in order to provide security for her children, refused an initial offer of £30,000 to leave the property, which she owned outright after paying off the mortgage.

Only after five years - during which she rejected offers of temporary accommodation because she felt she deserved to be properly re-housed - was this offer increased to £90,000. But facing large legal bills and rocketing heating costs as she was now living in a derelict building, she fought on for better compensation.

“The council made me various offers but none of them were “like for like”,” she told The Pavement. “They were offering me a house in another part of the city, temporary accommodation in places I didn’t want to live, like the Red Road. But I’ve lived in the east end all my life.

“I just didn’t see how it was fair that the property developers across the road were making all this money selling the land to the council. And because I was just a wee person they wouldn’t even give me what I was due.

“I asked the council for mediation but the attitude was: ‘what do you need mediation for’? Instead, they just served me with a compulsory purchase order. I’ve still got the keys and the title deeds. I feel like they’ve stolen my house.”

She has now taken her case to the European Court of Human Rights and is represented by Mike Daily of the Govan Law Centre. But meanwhile she and her husband have been staying with family for the last 11 months, unsure of when they will be able to find a home of their own once more.

“This was my first Christmas where I found myself homeless,” she said. “I’ve not no security now. My life is in limbo. “I’m stressed and my health is suffering. I’ve been pulled through the courts but I’ve not done anything wrong.” Supporter and Glasgow University academic Dr Libby Porter, whose research focuses on the planning system, said: “Compulsory purchase orders should be used as a last resort, but Margaret was willing to negotiate and no-one was communicating with her. In the end she was ripped out of her own home and her property was smashed.

“Meanwhile the big property speculators who started buying up land in Dalmarnock have made millions. It’s a deeply unfair process. “

A spokesman for Glasgow City Council said that the Jaconellis had been offered various types of alternative housing throughout the process, but had refused them all. Since the eviction the council has made an offer to pay Margaret Jaconelli compensation that it believes her to be due, following a request from her solicitor, and is waiting for her response to this offer.


February 2012



Birmingham man charged with homeless murder

Coventry City Council rubber-stamps cuts disguised as freezes

Birmingham winter shelter pilot

Homelessness on the rise in Nottingham

Christmas shelter welcomes homeless

Sleeping out for St Basil’s

Budget cuts threaten Scots homeless charity

‘Commonwealth grandmother’ still homeless

Pets need homes too, urges charity

Land of the free, homes for the brave

Government urged to make homelessness act a reality

New movie honours Scot who served homeless veterans

Behind a name

A Few Man Fridays

Hull in a handcart

Rough sleepers predicted to live longer - 47 is the new 42

Former US Marine arrested for homeless stabbing

Homeless people offered Spanish getaway

Funding boost for hostels

Bones in Bath wood

The target year - an end to rough sleeping in 2012

Hungary outlaws homelessness

Hungary outlaws homelessness

Nottingham hotline

Man dies on Ilford street

Stay safe!

Bin safety


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