Maintaining the quality of council housing and building new affordable homes are the highlights of Renfrewshire Council’s housing programme for the next 12 months.
The council is in the process of completing a five year £138million investment to modernise the 12,000 homes owned by the local authority.
Now the council is facing up to the new challenges of keeping tenants’ homes at a high standard while working with local housing associations to deliver hundreds of new affordable homes.
Renfrewshire Council’s budget meeting approved proposals for a £45million three-year capital investment in housing along with a 3.5% rent increase.
Councillor Tommy Williams, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Housing and Community Safety Policy Board, said: “For the last few years, Renfrewshire Council has worked to deliver a £138million programme to modernise our council housing and meet the Scottish Housing Quality Standard.
“That investment has brought massive improvements for our tenants – thousands of new kitchens, bathrooms, rewiring programmes, along with upgrading of central heating and external cladding.
“I am delighted that not only have we achieved very ambitious targets but we have done so to the overwhelming satisfaction of our tenants. Surveys have shown that 95% of our tenants said that they were either ‘satisfied’ or ‘very satisfied’ with their experience of the upgrading of their homes.
“Several years ago we listened to tenants and put extra money into tenant liaison and that approach has clearly paid off.
“Now we are continuing our support of our tenants through the regular investment programme. In 2015/16 that will deliver 300 new kitchen, bathroom and rewire combinations installed, 150 district heating upgrades and 250 new central heating system upgrades.
“The forthcoming £45million three-year housing capital investment programme will also help progress our next phase of new build council homes in Johnstone Castle, Bishopton and Paisley.
“Those will be part of Renfrewshire’s ambitious housing strategy to deliver 1000 new affordable homes by 2020 between the council and local housing associations.
“Our housing budget will also feature further support for tenants affected by welfare changes.
“Overall, this year’s housing budget confirms the delivery of our biggest-ever modernisation programme and points the way forward to further improvements and hundreds of new council homes.”