Stirling set for £18m housing investment as 1.1% rent increase approved
Stirling Council is to invest more than £18 million in housing across the region’s communities over the coming financial year.
Around £10m has been earmarked to build 70 new homes as part of the housing capital programme approved at a Special Meeting of Stirling Council.
A further £900,000 will be invested in renewable technologies for the council’s existing housing estate, delivering up to 137 new solar panels and battery storage units to homes across Stirling.
The report also outlined a commitment to undertake £7m of internal and external renewals on existing stock, including work to fit new kitchens, bathrooms, windows and central heating.
Housing portfolio holder, Councillor Jim Thomson, said: “We want all of Stirling’s communities to benefit from high quality, energy efficient housing and the plans laid out for the forthcoming financial year will not only improve the quality of the housing we can offer but also help us increase the number of homes.
“It is one of our key aims to deliver more affordable and well managed homes to meet local needs and I look forward to seeing the new houses delivered.”
Joint depute portfolio holder, Councillor Danny Gibson, said: “It’s important that investment in renewable technologies is part of our housing capital programme to help improve energy efficiency and reduce costs, especially at a time when living costs are on the rise and our residents are facing significant financial pressures.”
Joint depute portfolio holder, Councillor Alasdair MacPherson, added: “We understand that housing remains a priority for our residents and we are working hard to improve the lives of tenants and prospective tenants in Stirling through the 2022/23 housing capital programme.
“This budget will help build more sustainable and energy efficient new homes, while providing comprehensive improvements and upgrades to our existing council houses.”
The announcement comes as councillors approved a 1.1% increase in housing rents for the year.
The decision at the Special Meeting supports the views of the majority of council tenants, who were consulted on potential rent rises of between 1.1%, 1.5% or 1.7% for 2022/23, with the vast majority (66.48%) supporting a 1.1% increase.
The increase will raise an additional £232,000 in rental income to enable the council to continue with its proposed investment programme in its housing stock for 2022/23.
Councillors also voted for a 1.1% increase in rent prices for garages and pitch sites for 2022/23.
Councillor Jim Thomson, said: “We understand our residents are facing financial pressures across the board, from the rise in heating bills to the increasing costs of groceries and fuel prices.
“That’s why we listened to the views of our tenants and backed the lowest possible increase in their rent costs. This decision means that our council house rents remain the second lowest in Scotland, avoiding a significant additional burden on our tenants while their income is stretched due to the rising cost of living.”