Over £15million will be invested in Clackmannanshire Council's housing during the forthcoming financial year.
The housing capital programme was agreed at yesterday’s Council meeting. Councillors also agreed a rent rise of 3% for 2023/24, which will also apply to garages.
Over the past five year average rents have risen from £71.41 in 2017/18 to £77.90 for 2022/232, an increase of 9.09%.
Over the same period CPI inflation has been 19.7%. Council rents have risen at less than half the rate of inflation in recent years. The increase of 3% continues this trend of rent rises well below the rate of inflation.
Transforming our local economy and tackling poverty and inequality are at the heart of our transformation programme, providing a clear focus for Council investment and delivery.
The housing budget has a key role in meeting these aspirations, particularly through the affordable housing supply programme, which has the ability to directly influence economic growth with the regeneration of our communities.
The meeting heard that a revised business plan will be developed in consultation with tenants and other stakeholders during 2023. The review process will include a focus on costs and compliance with the statutory guidance on managing the housing budget.
The Council is currently taking forward a new build development in Clackmannan, building eight bungalows on the former Lochies Garage site.
While the former Glentana Mill site in Alva is being considered as the next site for the Council’s aspirations around sustainable ageing developments, following on from the Primrose Place development in Alloa. It will feature as part of a future transformational zone as part of the intergenerational living innovation programme, working alongside the University of Stirling, with the emphasis on enabling people to stay in their homes safer and for longer.
The other key service improvement over the next 12 months will be the implementation of a review of our adaptations service with closer working with the Health and Social Care Partnership.
Work is also underway to completely redevelop the Council's accommodation for the Gypsy/Traveller community to ensure that it meets both modern standards and the aspirations of the community.
Investment in existing tenants’ homes in the short to medium term continue with external building fabric such as roof replacement with external wall upgrade, window replacements, new kitchens, bathrooms and heating systems all planned in 2023/24.
Spokesperson for Housing and Property, Councillor Jane McTaggart said: “The benefits to our residents of living in good quality and secure houses cannot be over-estimated, and this remains a priority for us as we work towards improving the lives of everyone in Clackmannanshire.
“Through our transformation programme, we will continue to work towards reducing the numbers of those experiencing the greatest disadvantage, inequality and financial hardship, which is reflected in the agreed rent increase being significantly lower than the rate of inflation.
“Our ambitious housing plans are spread across Clackmannanshire, improving the availability of quality homes throughout the county, so that all our communities experience these benefits, and I look forward to those plans taking shape.”