Dundee set for £13m new housing and fuel poverty work

Dundee City CouncilMore than £10 million of investment could see up to 150 affordable new homes built in Dundee in the next two years.

A new report set to go before councillors next week sets out Dundee City Council’s housing investment priorities.

Major developments like Derby Street and Alexander Street are highlighted in the revised Strategic Housing Investment Plan (SHIP) as well as smaller schemes that could be delivered in each of the council’s eight wards.

Kevin Cordell depute convener of the council’s neighbourhood services committee, said: “We recognise the need for new affordable housing, but with the best will in the world it is not at all easy creating safe, energy efficient homes from scratch in the places people want to live.

“That’s why we are discussing such projects with registered social landlords across the city now and being as flexible and adaptable as we can in our approach.

“The Scottish Government has recognised the good progress that has been made so far in the city and has announced funding for the Affordable Housing Supply Programme to the tune of £10.6m this financial year, almost double our allocation in 2015/16.

“While our main priority continues to be in the regeneration areas of Mill O Mains, Whitfield, Lochee and Hilltown additional allocations will allow us to look at meeting housing needs in other neighbourhoods.

“It could also create opportunities to improve housing choice that will ensure existing stable neighbourhoods are sustained and we continue to meet the requirements of people with particular housing needs.

“This revision of the SHIP will contribute towards the aims and objectives of the recently launched Dundee Fairness Commission report which highlights the need for affordable housing and sustainable communities.”

In 2013 the first council houses for around 20 years were completed at Ann Street/Nelson Street and since then more developments in partnership with housing associations and other RSLs have been completed in Mill O’Mains, Whitfield and Lochee.

The revision to the SHIP has been developed through a series of meetings with representatives of the council and Registered Social Landlords who put forward proposed development sites and the type of housing they wanted to see on it.

Almost £2.5m of improvements to help tackle fuel poverty could also be rolled out over the next few months.

Councillors will be asked to approve a number of projects that will create warmer, easier to heat homes for council tenants, people who rent from social landlords and owners.

John Alexander, convener of Dundee City Council’s neighbourhood services committee, said: “I am thrilled that we have again been able to attract funding from various sources, including a proposed contribution of £1.2m from the council, to carry out many of these projects which will create homes that are better insulated and have new modern bathrooms and kitchens.

“It is particularly gratifying that the Scottish Government has recognised our efforts to tackle the blight of fuel poverty through making improvements to properties by giving us over £600,000 in additional funding that was not spent by other councils.

“The recently released Fairness Commission report highlighted the need to continue to tackle the scourge of fuel poverty in Dundee. Key to this is our ability to continue to punch above our weight in bringing in funding and rolling out our external wall insulation programme which has already benefitted more than 2000 properties.”

Projects include window replacements in Sandeman Street and West Kirkton; new roofs in Charleston and Douglas and external wall insulation in areas including Kinghorne Road, Cotton Road and Gardner Street.

The neighbourhood services committee meets on Monday (June 13).

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