Council announces £131m investment in East Ayrshire homes

East Ayrshire stockSix hundred new homes will be built in East Ayrshire and hundreds more improved in the next five years as East Ayrshire Council embarks on a £131 million programme of refreshing and renewing its housing stock.

The new housing programme will be in addition to the council’s commitment of almost £500m of investment in the area through its Capital Investment Programme which it had already approved earlier this year.

Councillor Eoghann MacColl, cabinet member for housing and communities, said the aim is to exceed national quality and efficiency targets and help all residents live in high quality, affordable homes and to build vibrant communities.

Councillor MacColl added: “We’ve almost 13,000 tenants and we want to ensure that we provide sustainable and quality homes that meet their future aspirations.

“We have already fully achieved the Scottish Housing Quality Standard for all of our stock and are making excellent progress towards meeting the national energy efficiency targets.

“We’re seeing how successful Community Led Action Plans are in delivering improvements at the heart of the community and it makes perfect sense that housing is part of this positive and ongoing process.

“One of the main changes will be to develop the housing programme in tandem with building strong, resilient, safe and vibrant communities.

“Over the next five years, six hundred new homes will be built in East Ayrshire and hundreds more improved, as we embark on this exciting and ambitious £131 million programme of refreshing and renewing our housing.”

A new strategic planning approach (Housing Asset Management Framework – HAMF) – is now being used help prioritise improvements and investment, allowing resources to be used more efficiently and effectively. This will see approximately £63m invested in building the new homes.

Other properties requiring modernisation will be benefit from a £68m improvement programme, including central heating installation; roof replacement; door and window replacement; modern kitchens and bathrooms installed as well as insulation, cladding and other energy efficiency measures.

Councillor MacColl added: “One area we’re particularly keen to address is the number of empty properties on our books.

“These cost an average £2m each year in lost rent and we’ll be looking to replace or improving these.

“In addition, we have some 200 homes where we can make significant improvements and we’ll be working with tenants there to offer alternative accommodation while improvements are made, or if new homes are to be built.”

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