Perth and Kinross targets £69.4m housing investment

A 3.5% increase in council rents throughout Perth and Kinross will be put to councillors next week to help fund the local authority’s planned five-year investment programme of £69.4 million.

The rent level will be decided at a meeting of Perth & Kinross Council’s housing and communities committee on Wednesday 29th January, with the increase being recommended in line with tenants’ views.

This increase would allow the council to make new and increased investment in:

  • Ensuring the Housing repairs service can meet increased demand
  • Increased investment in planned maintenance for homes
  • Recruiting a dedicated housing occupational therapist and introducing a personalised tenant budget to support people in their tenancies
  • Buying-back council homes (£4m for approximately 30 properties)
  • Refurbishing homes (£1m)
  • Achieving a target of 400 new-build homes over the next five years.
  • Supporting mobile working for housing staff

Tenants’ rents will also pay for a planned investment programme of £69.4m in their homes for the five-year period from April 2020 to March 2025.

Feedback from tenants has influenced these spending priorities, which include:

  • Kitchens and bathrooms - £6.7m
  • Rewiring/infrastructure - £3m
  • Energy efficiency works - £2.2m
  • Multi-storey flat improvements - £2.1m
  • Fire precaution measures - £2m
  • Central heating renewal - £1.3m
  • Structural works - £1.3m
  • Property refurbishment - £1m
  • Environmental improvements - £0.7m
  • Sound insulation - £0.5m
  • Triple glazing - £0.3m    

Housing and communities convener, Councillor Bob Brawn, said: “The proposed increase in rent would give Perth & Kinross Council an average rental figure of £71.22 per week. We would continue to have one of the lowest local authority rent in Scotland whilst being able to make the important investment in Housing Services that our tenants have told us they want to see.

“Our Housing Revenue Account (HRA) is also facing general increases in costs in areas of service delivery, particularly repairs and improvements. This is due to an increase in our stock numbers through our successful new-build and buyback programme - in turn meaning more properties become available for re-let requiring any necessary works to be completed before a new tenant moves in.

“I would like to sincerely thank all of our tenants who took part in this consultation on rent levels. We’ll continue to work very closely in partnership with our tenants to ensure we continue to deliver high-quality services for them.”

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