Council to spend £40m on housing improvements
PERTH and Kinross Council is planning to spend almost £40 million on improvements to the local authority’s housing stock over the next five years, it was revealed today.
• Perth and Kinross Council to spend £40m on housing improvements
• Plans will include investment in central heating renewal, double glazing and new kitchens and bathrooms
Details of the investments have been outlined in a report to go before a meeting of the council’s Housing and Health Committee next week.
The improvements include a £13.7 million spend on central heating renewal, £6 million on double glazing, £2.5 million on the installation of controlled door entry systems and new kitchens and bathrooms, and £8.4 million on external fabric works.
Another £62.million is to be spent on energy efficiency projects and £2.4 million refurbishing multi-storey flats.
At the meeting councillors are also expected to approve proposals to increase council rents by an average of £2.41 a week, giving an average weekly rent of £59.77.
A council spokeswoman said: “The proposal would keep Perth and Kinross rent levels well below the Scottish national average, and would mean we have the eleventh lowest rent levels in Scotland. The rent rise would provide funding for important housing projects such as new house builds and improvement works.”
Councillor Dave Doogan, the committee’s convener, said: “I am delighted to be able to announce this major programme of improvement works on our council housing stock over the next five years. This work will greatly improve the homes of our tenants.
“In 2003 the council adopted a ‘Retention Plus’ strategy after tenants voted to retain the council as their landlord on the condition that improvement would be carried out to the housing stock. This news underlines the council’s commitment to our tenants, and to provide homes of the highest quality.”
He added: “These new rent proposals will allow us to continue to both deliver improvements for our tenants and ensure that rents remain affordable in Perth and Kinross.
“It will also allow us to commit to providing much-needed new build council housing for people in Perth and Kinross who are in urgent need of accommodation, and sustain our level of investment in a range of other housing services our residents want and need.”
Councillors are also expected to endorse plans to forge a partnership agreement with two local housing associations to build 226 homes as part of the Muirton regeneration project in Perth.
The agreement between the council, Fairfield Housing Co-operative and Caledonia Housing Association will include the construction of 82 affordable housing units for rent and 64 low cost home ownership units.
Said Councillor Doogan, said: “This major regeneration project has already ensured a much brighter future for Muirton Park and its residents. It demonstrates the council’s commitment to reduce inequalities between disadvantaged areas and the rest of Perth & Kinross and to improve quality of life for our residents. The investment we have made in this community will make a real difference to people’s lives for many generations to come.”
He added: “As the UK recession stubbornly refuses to improve and UK growth remains non-existent, Perth & Kinross Council needed to develop a creative framework with which to breathe life into this development opportunity and I believe this is what we can now see.
“This proposed partnership agreement is sensible way forward to ensure the delivery of the final phases of the regeneration, which would see the project completed by July 2018.”
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Wednesday 22 May 2013
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