£114m to be invested in council housing across West Dunbartonshire

West DunbartonshireCouncillors in West Dunbartonshire have agreed to a four per cent increase in rent for council tenants to help fund £114 million worth of improvements for tenants.

The rent rise is nearly 50 per cent lower than planned when West Dunbartonshire Council agreed its rent strategy in 2012 to fund the upgrading of all council homes to meet the national Scottish Housing Quality Standard.

This latest rent increase will allow the council to carry out 170 kitchen replacements and 120 new bathrooms, replace and modernise over 300 heating systems, renew windows and doors to 800 of our houses, carry out 300 roof replacements, and provide insulated render for 250 properties.

In addition to ensuring that all of the council’s homes continue to meet the Scottish Housing Quality Standard, this rent increase will also help to ensure properties meet the Scottish Government’s energy efficiency standards.

A total of £3.4m will be invested in delivering energy efficiencies, £600k will be spent on heating improvement works and a further £300,000 will allow special needs adaptations to be made at the homes of some of our vulnerable residents.

Councillor David McBride, convener of housing and communities, said: “We are committed to constantly improving local housing by investing in our stock to ensure it meets the needs and expectations of our residents. Last year we celebrated 9,400 of our homes meeting the Scottish Housing Quality Standard after an investment of £81m to carry out extensive improvement works. To continue deliver this quality for our tenants another rent increase is required. We carried out extensive consultation with tenants and worked together to minimise the rent increase and still provide the quality of service that tenants deserve.”

Public consultations on the rent increase were held in December and January to discuss the options and agree the approach for the coming year.

The four per cent increase that has been agreed equates to an average of £2.89 per week, and means our rents will remain below the national social house average rent.

Councillor Lawrence O’Neill, vice convener of housing and communities, added: “The housing available to tenants and residents across West Dunbartonshire has improved beyond all recognition in the last few years. I’m pleased that we had such positive consultation with tenants and residents organisations who agree with our approach to continue investing heavily in housing. Our rents are still below the national average and by increasing them at this level it will allow us to continue to delivering improvements throughout our communities.”

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