Investment plan unveiled for 1,000 new Renfrewshire affordable homes

Councillor Marie McGurk and Sanctuary’s Gillian Lavety

Councillor Marie McGurk and Sanctuary’s Gillian Lavety

Renfrewshire Council has unveiled a five-year plan to deliver more than 1000 high-quality, affordable homes across the region over the next five years.

The new Strategic Housing Investment Plan (SHIP) for the period 2018/19 – 2022/23, which was approved last week by the local authority’s communities, housing and planning policy Board, sets out the key investment priorities for affordable housing in Renfrewshire. It details how the council will meet the objectives of the Renfrewshire Local Housing Strategy by delivering at least 1,000 new homes over the next five years.

The homes will be a mixture of council and housing association properties. As well as new housing for social rent, a mix of housing options are also being developed including properties specifically for older people, families and people with additional needs plus homes which are available to buy at below market prices.

Construction work is due to start on two council projects in Spring 2018 where around 95 new homes will be built as part of the regeneration of Johnstone Castle and 80 new homes at Dargavel Village in Bishopton. It is also planned to bring forward further council new build projects in Paisley and Johnstone over the five year period.

Construction is also underway on housing association new build developments in different parts of Renfrewshire. Sanctuary Scotland is building social rented housing in Renfrew (Andrew Avenue and Inchinnan Road) and homes for both social rent and low cost home ownership at Love Street in Paisley. Work is due to start shortly on the former Co-op site in Paisley West End, where around 40 new homes will be built for social rent by Sanctuary.

Link Group will start work in 2018 on the third phase of the redevelopment of the former Arnotts site – building around 26 flats on Smithhills Street in Paisley town centre for social rent.  In addition, Paisley Housing Association is progressing plans for comprehensive improvement at Orchard Street/Causeyside Street following the designation of a Housing Renewal Area earlier this year.

The council is also working with other housing associations and the Scottish Government to bring forward new build schemes in other parts of Renfrewshire over the next five years.

The draft investment plan was presented to Community planning partners, Renfrewshire housing associations, local stakeholder groups, Community Councils and tenants and Residents Associations for consultation in August of this year. The consultation also included meetings with housing association partners to identify potential sites and new projects in line with the Local Housing Strategy outcomes.

Councillor Marie McGurk, convener of Renfrewshire Council’s communities, housing & planning policy Board, visited a new housing area site to see first-hand one of the new affordable housing developments in Renfrew.

Commenting on the new plan, Councillor McGurk said: “Good quality, energy efficient, affordable housing helps to improve people’s quality of life.  Renfrewshire Council is committed to providing high-calibre homes that people can afford to rent and buy.

“The Strategic Housing Investment Plan isn’t just about building more and more houses. It is about creating homes that people want to live in, in places where they want to live.

“There is a demand for affordable homes for older people, families and those with additional needs. We’re expanding the supply of homes that are the right type, the right size and in the right place to meet the needs of people in Renfrewshire. There are a number of planned developments for additional supported housing, sheltered housing and extra care housing which meet these needs.

“We are already well on track to delivering our target of 1,000 new affordable homes by 2021 and I fully expect that the Strategic Housing Investment Plan will take us beyond that.”

Gillian Lavety, head of development for Sanctuary Homes in Scotland, added: “Sanctuary is proud to work in partnership with Renfrewshire Council and the Scottish Government to develop much-needed affordable housing in the area.

“Our planned homes will provide modern, attractive and energy-efficient accommodation for local residents, just as Sanctuary’s previous Renfrewshire projects across Paisley, Renfrew and Linwood already have.”