Two bids worth almost £4million for funding to build new council houses in Renfrewshire have been accepted by the Scottish Government.

Renfrewshire Council has been awarded a grant of £1.1million from the Innovation and Investment Fund to build 37 new homes on the site of the former Castle House care home in Paisley. In addition, Sanctuary Scotland Housing Association has been awarded a further £2,799, 530 to build 71 homes in Gallowhill.

Councillor Kenny MacLaren, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Housing and Community Safety Policy Board, said: “This is great news for Renfrewshire. In the current economic climate there are more people than ever struggling to find affordable homes for rent so these new homes will be a very welcome addition to the range of housing options available locally.”
The Castle House site on Barrhead Road already has planning permission for housing, and had previously been earmarked for sale to private developers however no deal was agreed.

It is proposed that of the 37 new council homes, 22 of these would be for general needs purposes while 15 would be grouped amenity properties for older people. Sanctuary Scotland is also the development agent for the Castle House site.

Councillor MacLaren added: “These new homes will be the first new general needs council houses built in the area for around 30 years. The former Castle House site is ideal because there has been a lot of investment in that area recently including a new care home, other new homes for social rent built by Williamsburgh Housing Association and improvements to the local community centre. It’s also close to the town centre with good transport links.”

The new properties will be allocated in accordance with the council’s allocation policy and the rent will be in line with the council’s normal rent and service charging policy.

The grouped amenity homes will be allocated through a lettings initiative which would give priority to older tenants in need of housing who are currently living larger homes. This would then be made available for families who need social rented accommodation.

Bids for funding had to be submitted to the Scottish Government by May 2011 with projects capable of starting by March 2012.

In addition to being open to local authorities, another strand of the fund was open to other registered social landlords including housing associations.

The council supported a bid by Sanctuary Scotland to build a further 71 homes in the Gallowhill area of Renfrewshire. The bid was successful with Sanctuary Scotland being awarded a total of £2,799, 530.
The Gallowhill properties will be two-storey units and comprise a mix of 2, 3, 4 and 5-bed family houses for social rent.
Gordon Laurie, the director of Sanctuary Scotland, said: “I am delighted that the Scottish Government has supported our funding bid to build 71 new, high quality homes in Gallowhill.
“This development is yet another example of Sanctuary Scotland working together with like-minded partners like Renfrewshire Council to help address local housing needs.”

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