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Clackmannanshire Council Online

Over £18 million to be invested in council housing

Published on:


February 2024

Over £18 million will be invested in Clackmannanshire Council's housing in the financial year ahead, following the agreement of the housing capital programme at today’s Council meeting.

Councillors also agreed a rent rise of 6.7% for homes and garages in 2024/25.  The average housing rent will now be £85.62 per week.

Over the past six years, average Council rents have risen from £71.41 in 2017/18 to £80.23 in 2023/24, an increase of £8.49 or 12.35%. Over the same period, inflation was 27.99%.

Our transformation programme, Be the Future, has the transformation of our local economy and tackling poverty and inequality at its heart, 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 significant work is ongoing to review the Council’s HRA business plan which underpins the financial management of the housing service. The plan provides an estimate of the income and expenditure of the service and the capital investment required over a 30 year period.  The last review was undertaken in 2017/18, and assumptions made then could not account for the significance of unforeseen events such as the pandemic, Brexit and the economic impact these would have.

Consultants were engaged to review the affordability and sustainability of the Capital Plan. Their findings supported the 6.7% rent increase to protect housing investment going forward.  Consultation was also sent to every Council tenant, and specific engagement took place with the Clackmannanshire Tenants and Residents Federation.

The Council is currently taking forward a new build development in Clackmannan to build eight bungalows on the former Lochies Garage site, due to be on site in the months ahead.

Surveys are taking place in properties currently ‘off grid’ to develop plans for the installation of air source heat pumps.  Consideration is also being made for a small number of pilot properties for domestic gas change to these pumps where appropriate.

Work is also underway to completely redevelop the Council's accommodation for the Gypsy/Traveller community at Westhaugh to ensure that it meets both modern standards and the aspirations of the community.

The Council also plans to invest in the acquisition of 40 off the shelf property purchases from the open market in the year ahead.  At an average cost of £100,000, this is significantly less expensive than the unit cost of new build development.

Investment in existing tenants’ homes will also continue with external building fabric such as roof replacement with external wall upgrade, window replacements, new kitchens, bathrooms and heating systems all planned.

A focus on continuing to improve the involvement of our tenants in housing activities will be key in the plans over the next year and beyond.

Spokesperson for Housing and Property, Councillor Jane McTaggart said: “It is important that the Council takes action to ensure that we are able to provide good quality houses for our tenants, playing a key role in helping our communities to thrive and overcome some of the challenges they are facing.  The increase in rent levels over the past six years is below the rate of inflation and Council rents continue to be below the level of private rents.

“The Council continues to face challenges in dealing with increased costs caused by national and international events, and must ensure that we have budget sustainability to meet our responsibilities.

“Our capital spending plans mean that we will continue to invest for our tenants throughout Clackmannanshire in further improvements to our existing housing and the development of new build and off the shelf purchases.”