£90m housing commitment...


Aberdeenshire Council is set to spend more than £90m over the next three years building council houses and upgrading existing homes.

Successful bids to the Scottish Government for funding to build new council homes, together with the council’s own New Build Programme, has led to over 160 new houses being built over the last three years.

A further 219 homes are planned for the next three years in Ballater, Westhill, Peterhead, Inverurie, Banff and Fraserburgh.

Along with the New Build Programme, the housing service has undertaken a comprehensive review to confirm the planned improvement works comply with Scottish Housing Quality Standards by the end of March 2015.

This will include upgrading heating, kitchens, doors, roofing, insulation, and door entry systems as well as rewiring.

Banchory and Mid Deeside Councillor Karen Clark, chair of Aberdeenshire Council’s Social Work and Housing Committee, highlighted the importance of increasing housing as well as maintenance of existing stock.

She said: “This is a significant investment in upgrading existing homes and building new council houses across Aberdeenshire.

‘‘As house prices continue to rise the council has also pledged to double the level of affordable housing over the next few years in order to help people on to the property ladder.”

The council is also in the process of converting some sheltered housing to ‘‘Very Sheltered Housing’’ with the help of funding from Aberdeenshire Change Fund.

Remodelling existing complexes to become very sheltered housing across areas of the Shire where there is identified need is highlighted as a priority within both the Local Housing Strategy 2012 – 2017 and the Joint Commissioning Strategy for Older People 2012 – 2020, “Ageing Well in Aberdeenshire”.

Vice-chair of Aberdeenshire Council’s Social work and Housing Committee, Councillor Alisan Norrie, said: “As the demographics change, we have to plan for the types of housing that will be required in the future.

‘‘This applies to housing provision for older people as well.

‘‘Along with more adaptations to people’s homes, allowing them to live as independently as possible for as long as possible, increased provision of very sheltered housing will also be required.”

The report also highlights the many energy efficiency projects the council is pursuing including innovative internal insulation and large scale external insulation works.

n The report was discussed by members of Aberdeenshire Council’s Social Work and Housing Committee lastThursday, March 27.

It can be viewed here: http://www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/committees/files_meta/802572870061668E80257CA00033D4A8/Item%208.pdf