Falkirk Council plans £143m housing investment over next three years
In 2018/19, £13.5m will be spent making improvements to around 5,000 properties across the council area, such as:
Around £4.2m will also be allocated for an on-going programme of heating system upgrades, which will improve the energy efficiency of around 500 homes and the extension of the combined heat and power system to a further three blocks of high rise flats.
An additional £1.5m will be spent on a programme of renewable energy efficiency projects. £1.5m will also be spent on improving local estates
Falkirk Council is also continuing its new council house building programme with 246 new homes to be built over the next three years in Falkirk, Denny, Bonnybridge, Hallglen and Grangemouth at an approximate cost of £47.2m.
A further £6m has been allocated to help the council ‘buy-back’ homes sold under Right to Buy legislation, with around 240 properties expected to be bought over the next three years.
Stuart Ritchie, director of corporate and housing services, said: “We have an ongoing commitment to improve our housing in the local area and the level of investment shows our commitment to making this happen.
“Rents still remain comparatively low and an extensive consultation with tenants helped inform our decisions when setting the charges.
The investment programme is entirely separate from the council’s other budgets and revenue raised by rents and grants etc, can only be reinvested in housing programmes and no other aspect of council services.
Council rents will increase by an average of 3.6% from 1 April for its 16,000 tenants (or an average of £2.31 per week with an average rent of £66.36 per week). Approximately half of all tenants will be fully protected from any increase due to Housing Benefit protection.
A recent survey showed that nearly 76% of tenants felt their rent represented ‘good value for money’ and nearly 79% were satisfied with the overall Housing service they received.
In 2016/17, Falkirk Council had the 5th lowest rent and the 4th highest level of repairs and improvement spending per house compared to the other 25 local authority landlords in Scotland.