Falkirk agrees ‘significant’ five-year council housing investment

Falkirk agrees 'significant' five-year council housing investment

A report outlining proposals for a significant investment in Falkirk Council’s housing stock was agreed at this week’s full council meeting.

A total of £317.176 million will be spent over the next five years to deliver an ambitious Housing Investment Programme. This includes £187.89m to improve the quality of existing homes through energy efficiency measures such as new windows and doors and replacement heating systems and renewable energy supplies and £128m to build and buy around 700 additional affordable homes through the Council New Build Programme and the Buy Back Scheme.

In 2024/25 alone,

  • £37.14m will be spent to improve the current housing stock of around 17,000 homes.
  • £12.6m to build a range of new homes including wheelchair accessible home and family homes across three key sites at Woodend Farm, Haugh Gardens, Langlees and Oakbank, Polmont
  • £8.5m to purchase 80 ex-local authority homes through the council’s successful Buy Back Scheme

Council rents will increase by 5.0% from 1 April for the council’s 16,200 tenants (an average increase of £3.75 per week, taking average rent to £78.67 per week). More than 60% of all tenants will be fully protected from any increase due to Housing Benefit or Universal Credit Housing Costs.

The Housing Investment Programme and Housing Revenue Account are entirely separate from the council’s other budgets. Revenue raised by rents and grants can only be reinvested in housing programmes and in no other aspect of council services.

Councillor Gary Bouse, spokesperson for housing, said: “Council housing is the cornerstone of our communities and approval of the Housing Investment Programme marks a significant stride towards ensuring quality, energy efficient homes for our tenants.

“With £317m committed over the next five years, we are not only improving the existing housing stock but also delivering on our promise to provide additional, affordable homes.

“In order to sustain these improvements we have made the decision to increase council rents by 5%. This modest increase, averaging £3.75 a week, will contribute directly to the Housing Investment Programme, ensuring our housing stock is energy efficient, comfortable and affordable for our tenants.”

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