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Council plans £14m spend this year on housing and regeneration

town hall

Renfrewshire Council is set to propose a £14m investment in housing and regeneration in 2016/2017.

town hall

A report to a meeting of Renfrewshire Council on Thursday 25 February will recommend new build housing and regeneration in several areas of Renfrewshire and the continuation of an extensive programme of housing improvements.

Work will begin this year on the construction of 100 new build council homes as part of an ambition to deliver 1,000 new affordable homes in Renfrewshire by 2020 working in partnership with local housing associations.

In total, over £14m will be spent in 2016/2017 as part of a £52m three-year investment programme.

Up to 300 properties will benefit from new kitchens, bathrooms and rewiring, and another 250 will benefit from heating upgrades.

A rent increase of only 2%, which is lower than the 3.5% agreed for 2015/2016, has also been proposed following consultation with tenants.

Cllr Tommy Williams, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Housing and Community Safety Policy Board, said: “In these difficult financial times, we want to do what we can to help our tenants, so we are proposing to reduce the rent raise this year to only 2%.

“The UK Government’s welfare reforms are causing severe financial difficulties for families and we anticipate that the new Universal Credit will cause further challenges for our tenants so we have set aside funding for additional support measures to help alleviate the pressure on households.”

“Regenerating our communities is one of this council’s key priorities and we have plans to build 224 new council homes including 24 in the Seedhill Road area of Paisley, and 100 each in Dargarvel Village in Bishopton and in Johnstone.

“These are areas where the shortage of affordable social housing often forces people into expensive private lets. The work starting this year on the Seedhill and Dargarvel developments will provide a full mix of housing options, from one-bedroom flats to three-bedroom family homes.

“Last year, we completed our £138m programme to bring all our housing stock up to the Scottish Housing Quality Standard. The challenge now is to continue investing in our housing stock to ensure it continues to meet the standard, and the aspirations of our tenants, so over £9m of this budget is earmarked for new kitchens and bathrooms, rewiring, heating upgrades and external improvements in up to 300 properties.

The programme also proposes investing £9.9m over the next three years to support the regeneration of the West End of Paisley and the Tannahill area of Ferguslie Park.

Housing services are paid for entirely by council tenants in a housing revenue account separate from the council’s budget for services.