Investment for Council houses outlined with rent rise capped at two per cent

 20 December 2017  |  

1,000 new affordable homes are also being built in South Ayrshire

1,000 new affordable homes are also being built in South Ayrshire

Hundreds of tenants across South Ayrshire are being promised increased investment in Council properties. A three year plan has been unveiled which will improve existing properties and land, with a below inflation annual rent increase continued to help manage costs.

£2.3 million will be invested in double glazing replacements to improve energy efficiency at 500 homes; environmental improvements will see improved footpaths, fencing and retaining wall work carried out, including around sheltered housing complexes. The wider programme will also see 162 lock ups, currently in need of significant maintenance, demolished in various locations across South Ayrshire.

To help manage costs rent will rise by a below inflation 2% on the majority of Council properties, which works out at roughly £1.60 a week for a 2 bedroom house. Rent on new build properties (which are generally higher) will be frozen until 2020/21, while the rent for one bedroom new builds will be reduced to help match the maximum allowance allowed for people reliant on housing benefit.

Rental rates for lock-ups, garage site rents, garden maintenance, communal heating, and amenity charges have also been capped at 2% from 2018/19 – 2020/21.

Councillor Philip Saxton, Portfolio Holder for Housing and Customer Services said it was important to strike the right balance, "We're committed to making life better for our tenants, and continued investment in our properties and assets will help to maintain high standards.

"Alongside our pledge to build 1,000 new affordable homes in the next five years, our programme will reduce bills for hundreds of energy inefficient homes, improve safety for the elderly, and see a range of environmental improvements put in place.

"To help manage these costs, and following input from tenants, a below average rent increase will be applied of two per cent per year for three years for the majority of our properties, meaning that our council houses remain the most affordable homes to rent in South Ayrshire."

As part of its long term maintenance programme South Ayrshire Council has also pledged to replace boilers and kitchens every 15 years (as opposed to 20) with full property modernisation scheduled in for every 30 years.

The full paper 'Council house rents and housing revenue account (HRA) revenue and capital estimates 2018/19 can be found here.