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Council houses in Perth and Kinross are on course to achieve the Scottish Housing Quality Standard by March next year.
Members of the Housing & Health Committee will be told on Wednesday 29 January that steady progress has been made with the local Standard Delivery Plan during 2013 and the number of houses achieving the SHQS has continued to rise. Members will also receive an update on the progress of the programme of investment in Council housing as part of the annual update on the Housing Revenue Account Strategic Financial Plan.
As part of the planned programme for the 5 years from April 2014 to March 2019, which would incorporate work needed to achieve the SHQS in 2015, a total investment of £33.5 million is being made in:
- Central heating renewal – £11.7 million
- Double glazing – £4.9 million
- Installation of controlled door entry systems – £1.6 million
- Kitchens and bathrooms – £0.9 million
- External fabric works – £7.4 million
- Energy efficiency works – £5.1 million
- Multi-storey flats – £1.1 million
- Environmental improvements – £0.4 million
- Fire precaution measures – £0.4 million
Members of the Committee will also be asked to approve elements of the capital investment plan which provides ways of improving housing stock beyond the requirements of the Scottish Housing Quality Standard, including replacing a number of boilers in communal premises over the next year, further investment in new house building with the addition of 25 houses a year across Perth and Kinross from 2014/15 onwards and funding for increasing the Council house stock through the buying back of ex-Council houses.
The HRA Capital Investment Programme is funded through the income from Council house rents and other charges. As well as being asked to approve the investment programme Committee members are also being asked to approve a rent increase of 4.7% for 2013/14. This rent increase is in line with the five year rent strategy approved in February 2013 of inflation using the Consumer Price Index (CPI) plus 2%.
If approved this increase would mean an average weekly rent increase of £2.81 per week, giving an average weekly rent of £62.58. The proposal would keep Perth and Kinross rent levels below the Scottish national average, and would mean Perth & Kinross Council tenants pay the 9th lowest rent levels in Scotland.
Continued investment planned for Council housing
Housing and Health Convener, Councillor Dave Doogan, said: “I am delighted to welcome this continued programme of significant investment in our Council houses over the next five years. This work goes beyond ensuring that our properties are wind and watertight, it is also about improving the energy efficiency and security of properties to make them safe and comfortable places to live for all of our tenants.
“The Scottish Housing Quality Standard challenges us to ensure that all Council housing meets a basic standard by March 2015, but our local Standard Delivery Plan goes beyond the requirements of the SHQS to help meet the expectations and trust tenants put in Perth & Kinross Council when the voted to retain the Council as their landlord in 2003.
“Our business plan to fund these improvements is regularly reviewed to ensure that it remains affordable and sustainable. These new rent proposals are founded on sustaining this programme of substantial and ambitious improvement, while still ensuring that rents remain affordable and below the Scottish average.
“It also allows us to continue to commit to providing much-needed new Council housing and expanding the available stock by buying-back ex-Council houses of certain types and in particular areas where people are most in need of Council accommodation.”
“It also allows us to continue to commit to providing much-needed new Council housing and expanding the available stock by buying-back ex-Council houses of types and in areas where people are most in need of accommodation.”
Courtesy of PKC