Highland Council approves £2m investment in Caithness council housing

Highland Council has approved over £2 million of investment in council housing in Caithness.

A total of £2,253,000 will be used to carry out improvements to the housing stock across the county.

Members of the Caithness Committee identified fuel poverty as their number one concern and in turn, increased the member-led capital housing budget by 10%.

A specific priority of the capital programme is improving heating and make homes more energy efficient, with over £1,300,000 of budget approved to replace the oldest and most inefficient heating systems with a further £150,000 for one-off heating replacements.

These works will assist towards achieving the Scottish Government’s Energy Efficiency Standard for Social Housing (EESSH).

In addition, the programme includes an allowance for kitchen replacements, bathrooms replacements, structural work to roofs, chimneys and the external fabric of properties, allowance for environmental works, regeneration works and continued funding of equipment and adaptations.

Councillor Nicola Sinclair said: “Firstly I would like, on behalf of our committee, to sincerely thank our housing staff for their hard work – those involved in repairs and maintenance and the staff who have been busy liaising with and supporting tenants. It’s impressive that repairs targets have been met in spite of the extra demands of COVID-19.

“I am heartened that we’ve been able to increase the member-led element of the housing capital budget to allow us to target resources where our tenants tell us it’s most needed. We have a plan in place to gather tenants’ views and as local members we’re very much aware of the need to accelerate the heating replacement programme as fuel poverty is front of our minds coming into winter. We all appreciate the efforts of our Housing team in addressing this and look forward to continuing our close working relationship.”

Members will continue to be updated on progress against both the current year programme and the 2021-2022 programme through ward business meeting updates and further reports to their committee.

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