North Lanarkshire Council hails success of purchase scheme

To deliver more homes for rent, North Lanarkshire Council’s open market purchase scheme is on course to deliver 140 homes this year.

North Lanarkshire Council hails success of purchase scheme

Audrey Johnstone, housing area manager, Gillian Whitehead, housing solutions manager and Catriona Arbuckle, empty homes development officer

The council scheme is supported by the Scottish Government and it enables the purchase of properties that are for sale on the open market and are often former council houses which were purchased under right to buy.

Catriona Arbuckle, development officer, said: “The scheme has been a resounding success and has enabled us to expand our programme and get more people and families into homes in the communities they want to live in. There has been huge interest in people wanting to take part and we have identified and bought many good properties in towns and villages across the area.”

Over 1,100 enquiries have been received through the open market purchase scheme and between 1 April 2019 and 20 February 2020 123 properties have been purchased.

The main criteria for the purchase of homes on the open market is:

  • There is demand for the type and size of property in that area
  • The combined cost of buying the property and bringing it up to letting standards would represent value for money to the council
  • Where the purchase of a property will enable the council to take complete, or majority, ownership of blocks of flats making communal repairs much easier to complete
  • Homes purchased would meet the particular needs of households not currently available in the council stock, e.g. homes suitable for people with disabilities

Heather Brannan-McVey, convener of housing and regeneration, added: “By purchasing good homes on the open market, we can help meet people’s housing requirements and increase local housing supply. Through the open market scheme, we can also remove homes which have been lying empty or derelict for a considerable period of time and bring them back into proper use. It also helps us progress with common refurbishment works within mixed tenure blocks of flats for the benefit of more of our tenants.”

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