Major housing boost for county communities
Published Tuesday 21st February 17
A £144 million package of investment in council housing will be delivered over the next five years.
East Lothian Council’s newly-approved budget allocates resources between 2017/18 and 2021/22 for an £85 million programme of new council housing and almost £59 million of investment in modernisation and extensions to existing homes.
In 2017/18, 35 new homes are expected to be completed at Pinkie in Musselburgh, as well as a further 18 at Russell Walk in North Berwick.
Further new council housing developments are planned for Tranent, Cockenzie and Haddington.
The purchase of some former council homes for sale on the open market will also continue.
Meanwhile, there will be a rolling programme of improvements to existing council houses. This includes refurbishments of bathrooms, kitchens and roofing and the installation of energy efficiency measures – in an effort to help reduce fuel poverty.
Norman Hampshire, the council’s housing spokesman, said:
“With East Lothian being a fantastic place to live, it’s vital that we continue to invest in providing council housing to meet the demands of our communities.
“East Lothian Council tenants already benefit from one of the lowest average weekly rents in Scotland. I’m delighted that, in the next year, a number of new council homes are expected to be completed in Musselburgh and North Berwick – providing high-quality accommodation for families and individuals. This is part of a significant £85 million investment in new council housing over the next five years, which will see the construction of homes throughout the county.
“With further developments planned, this is excellent news for those seeking a council house and also for the economy, as it will require the involvement of firms including the construction industry.
“At the same time, we are committed to improving our existing housing stock, and will be investing almost £59 million in the modernisation of council homes throughout the county. This includes an increased focus on energy efficiency measures – helping to make tenants’ homes warmer and cheaper to heat, helping to reduce fuel poverty.
“We know that many people aspire to buy their own home but struggle to meet the associated costs, despite the existence of some schemes offering assistance. That’s why the council has also allocated £100,000 to explore further options which may help people access new housing such as mid-market rent and low cost home ownership.”
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