Falkirk unveils five-year plan for 1,600 additional social homes
Falkirk Council has announced ambitious new social housing plans with over 1,600 additional homes planned over the next five years.
From 2022/23 to 2026/27, the local authority aims to deliver 568 new build council homes, 641 new build Registered Social Landlord (RSL) homes, 400 buybacks of former council properties and 25 RSL buybacks for Paragon Housing Association.
Around £98 million of funding is being sought from the Scottish Government, with the rest coming from Falkirk Council and RSL partners, making a proposed total investment of nearly £233m.
Numerous locations across the Falkirk Council area have been earmarked already for future developments. These include Denny, Bonnybridge, Banknock, Falkirk, Maddiston and Reddingmuirhead.
Plans include an increase in the number of fully accessible properties which are suitable for wheelchair users, as well as others which are suitable for the growing population of older people in our community.
Cllr Gordon Hughes, spokesperson for housing, explained: “We are making good progress towards delivering more affordable housing across the Falkirk area, including our priority of social housing for rent.
“As well as a new build programme for both Falkirk Council and Registered Social Landlords, we have been working on increasing the number of buybacks of former council properties as well as bringing back into use former empty homes in our communities.
“Work over the past year to increase affordable housing has been extremely difficult due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as a global shortage of supplies and materials. Despite this, during 2020/2, we managed to bring into use or build nearly 170 properties locally.
“We’re continuing to identify where there is a gap in housing needs and work with our Registered Social Landlord partners to prioritise resources and make a real difference in local communities. These partners are playing an especially important role in helping to deliver new affordable housing through the Local Development Plan’s Affordable Housing Policy, so we achieve a mix of tenures on private development sites
“We have all been working hard to make sure we make advances on the priorities identified in our Local Housing Strategy over the past year. As well as increasing housing supply, we have made progress in ensuring communities are sustainable; improving access to housing opportunities; improving support for more vulnerable groups; reducing fuel poverty and the impact of climate change and; improving local housing conditions.”