Housing budget supports modernisation
Renfrewshire Council’s 12,300 council tenants are set to benefit from further modernisation of their homes, a start on 24 new-build council homes, and help to deal with ‘unprecedented’ welfare and benefit changes.
The council’s £51million housing revenue budget and £37.3m housing capital programme features £35m of improvements to tenants’ homes.
The work is the latest phase of Renfrewshire Council’s five-year £138m programme to upgrade council homes to meet the Scottish Quality Housing Standard.
It’s planned that over the next year the council will carry out 1700 combinations of kitchen, bathroom and rewiring replacements and 500 central heating upgrades.
A previously-agreed rent increase of 4.5%, resulting in an average weekly rent increase of £2.95 per week, will be implemented.
“Providing our tenants with modern, warm and affordable houses with decent facilities is a priority for this council,” said Councillor Tommy Williams, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Housing and Property Board.
“We have put in place additional measures to support our tenants through the inevitable upheaval of modernisation or repair work in their homes.
“Additional resources have been invested in customer care and quality management of contractors. There is now a 100% quality inspection of the works as they are being upgraded and that has been warmly welcomed by our tenants.
“It’s also encouraging that the council is investing an additional £2m in new council homes, including 24 in Seedhill, Paisley.”
As the UK Government prepares to bring in wide-ranging welfare and benefit changes, Renfrewshire Council’s housing budget is prioritising help to tenants likely to face financial hardship.
£5m of the council’s £11.6m housing revenue account reserves will be specifically earmarked to mitigate the impact of benefit changes, support people in their tenancies, and assist unemployed tenants into work.
“These welfare changes are unprecedented in their scope and their likely impact on thousands of our tenants,” said Councillor Williams.
“Renfrewshire Council is committed to doing all we can to support tenants through these difficult times and this significant new investment is further evidence of that.”
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