East Lothian home modernisation programme receives £112m budget boost

east lothian councilMore than £112 million is to be invested in East Lothian Council’s housing modernisation programme over the next five years as well as an increase of new affordable housing across the county, it was announced this week.

The local authority said a 5 per cent rise in council house rents will allow the council to continue to deliver significant investment in its existing stock and new build housing without compromising key day to day services such as repairs and housing management.

Councillor Norman Hampshire, cabinet member for housing, said: “East Lothian Council aims to continue improving its housing stock and in the coming years there will be an increased focus on improving energy efficiency. This will help make tenants’ homes warmer and cheaper to heat which will also help reduce fuel poverty. We have still maintained an average rent level well below the national average, we are now under pressure to not only maintain our existing stock but to increase the number of properties available for rent. The Council is working alongside a number of partners, including housing developers, to deliver more affordable housing in East Lothian.

“The investment programme will be part-funded by this year’s rent increase of 5 per cent which will bring in an additional £0.96m in 2016/17. The council carried out a full consultation of tenants regarding proposed increase in rents with 79 per cent of respondents stating they believed a proposed increase of 5 per cent to be fair and 93 per cent saying they consider the rent they pay is good value for money.”

The current average council rent is £54.38 per week. A 5 per cent increase will amount to an average rent of £57.10 per week, lower than the Scottish average local authority rent of £65.99.

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