East Lothian agrees £174m council housing investment

Councillors in East Lothian have agreed to spend more than £174 million over the next five years on building new council housing and modernising existing stock.

East Lothian agrees £174m council housing investment

More than £100m has been earmarked for building new council homes with almost £65m to be invested in modernisation of existing council houses.

Councillor Jim Goodfellow, East Lothian Council’s spokesperson for housing, said: “This is great news for current and future council tenants, particularly given that our tenants, even with a 5% rise, will continue to enjoy one of the lowest levels of council rents in Scotland.

“By the end of March this year we will have delivered around 2,000 additional affordable homes of which more than 900 are council homes. Around 800 units will have been delivered through our housing association partners with a further 300 intermediate tenures such as discounted sale and mid-market rent delivered through other financial models.

“The investments agreed today are essential to meet the need and demand for increased levels of council housing within our communities in the next five years and beyond, complemented by maintained and modernised existing stock, to build on our track record and support people to live, work and thrive in East Lothian.

“East Lothian Council takes its duties as a landlord very seriously and we will continue to strive to maintain the best possible housing standards to build healthy, sustainable and happy communities.”

In 2019/20 new council homes have been delivered across the county including in Prestonpans, Haddington, Gullane, Aberlady, Musselburgh and Dunbar. New site starts in Ormiston, Cockenzie, Haddington and Tranent will see more than 200 new council homes delivered over the next two years. More than 630 new council homes are programmed to be delivered in the next five years.

The council said the delivery of these units will also be complemented by a record level of subsidy from the Scottish Government this year and next year with further affordable homes also being delivered by its housing association partners.

The council will also continue its rolling programme of improvements to existing council houses. As well as over 450 bathroom and over 500 kitchen refurbishments, a programme of fire safety measures will commence in 2020/21. These include interlinked smoke, heat and carbon monoxide detection systems in all council houses and new fire-rated doors in flatted properties.

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