West Lothian Council agrees £109m housing budget

West_LothianWest Lothian Council will spend over £109 million over the next two years improving and increasing its council housing stock.

Approved at a meeting of the council executive last week, the investment will see over £76m spent on building new council houses.

The council is currently building 1,000 new council properties across all nine council ward areas. The new build project includes community benefits such as training and employment opportunities for apprentices, local people and businesses.

The capital programme for housing will also invest over £32m improving the existing stock. Projects will include investment in energy efficiency measures and replacement of central heating systems to help reduce fuel poverty. These works are in addition to planned maintenance programmes, as well as kitchen and bathroom replacements and window refurbishments.

Planned work will continue on environmental programmes and external upgrading projects, including tenant led street improvements projects. As part of this, work at Almondell and Paterson Court in Broxburn will also commence in 2016/17.

Major refurbishments will continue at Mayfield in Armadale. Major refurbishment works at Main Street, Fauldhouse and Bathville Flats in Armadale will be completed in 2016/17.

Work at Harrison House, which forms part of the Loch Scheme in Whitburn, will commence in 2017/18.

A rent increase of 3 per cent for council homes and garages has also been approved, which is consistent with previous years.

Executive councillor for services for the community, George Paul, said: “The council has undertaken significant investment in its housing stock over recent years and our continued investment allows us to provide excellent value for money services to our tenants, and to be responsive to customers’ needs.

“Our recent Tenants Satisfaction survey results highlighted that the vast majority of our housing tenants are happy with the services we provide and we will continue to strive to further improve the housing services that we provide for customers.”

He added: “We will continually invest in our housing infrastructure to meet the needs of existing and future tenants.

“The council is committed to providing new, affordable, high quality council homes in West Lothian and a significant amount of investment is going into building 1,000 new council homes across all ward areas.

“We are starting to see that our new build programme is beginning to have a positive impact on our communities with more site starts due to begin over the coming months.”

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