House building programme doubles
1,000 new homes to be built by 2020
1,000 new council houses will be built in North Lanarkshire by 2020 at a cost of £150 million.
We have agreed to invest a further £1.8 million a year to double the number of new council homes from 500 to 1,000.
This investment was announced as part of our housing revenue budget for 2012/13 which also sees an extra £2.3 million of growth money spent on improving its housing stock. This additional funding will increase the level of resources available for next year's capital programme to almost £40m.
Council tenants will also benefit from an inflation busting rent increase of just 1.5% - and rent levels in North Lanarkshire are already among the lowest in Scotland.
Last year we agreed a two-year deal to keep rent increases to 1.5%, which this year means an average weekly increase of just 80 pence. The average weekly rent in 2012/13 will be £53.99.
The investment package was agreed by our Housing and Social Work Services Committee as part of its 2012/13 Housing Revenue Account budget. This budget will be finalised next month when the council approves its multi-million pound revenue budget for the year ahead.
The £2.3 million will boost the council's housing capital programme with:
• £1 million to accelerate the kitchen programme;
• £500,000 to progress the upgrading of single to double glazing through the window / door replacement programme;
• £500,000 to accelerate the roofing and render programme; and
• £300,000 to commence a project for the installation of renewable energy measures.
In addition to this capital investment, £36,000 will be added to the repairs budget for lock ups to reflect the additional income generated through charge increases.
Convener Councillor Barry McCulloch, said: "This is an outstanding housing budget for the council and its tenants.
"It supports our vision to deliver a positive housing future for the people of North Lanarkshire by providing high quality housing in neighbourhoods where people want to live - over the five-year period from 2010 to 2015, we will invest £210 million to improve the quality of our existing stock of over 36,500 houses through our mainstream capital programme.
"It will also deliver an even more ambitious new build programme, expanding our existing programme of 500 houses to provide 1,000 new houses by the year 2020 at a cost of approximately £150 million.
"And we will deliver all this while at the same time upholding our pledge to cap rent increases at 1.5% for the second year in succession.
"As the council faces major challenges in dealing with changing economic pressures and diminishing resources, it is vital that we continue to invest in housing, not only to address the increasing demand for affordable rented accommodation but also to support employment across all sectors."