Rent increases help us protect housing services, build new homes and to continue to invest in our homes so they meet the Scottish Housing Quality Standard and will meet the Energy Efficiency Standard for Social Housing by 2020.
Last year, our Tenants Steering Group agreed that rents should be increased to ensure we can continue to invest in its existing homes as well as build new affordable housing in Angus. Three rent increase options were proposed by the Tenants Steering Group.
In July 2017, we carried out a rent consultation for our residential tenants. The majority of tenants (58%) who responded to the consultation supported an increase of inflation (as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) +1% which equates to a 4% based on September 2017 CPI of 3%. The rent increase will increase the average rent to £66 per week and mean that our rents will continue to remain in the lowest 25% of all Scottish local authorities.
The results of this survey were presented at the communities committee at the beginning of February 2018 and the final decision on a rent increase for 2018/19 was made. You can read the papers here. The committee approved an average rent increase of 4% for Council houses, garages and travellers’ pitches. Associated service charges for sheltered, retirement and dispersed accommodation will continue to be based on actual costs in the previous financial year. Tenants will receive their new rent cards for 2018/19 in the next few weeks. Please let us know by calling ACCESSLine on 03452 777 778 if you haven’t received your new rent card by 5 March 2018.
The committee also agreed the capital programme for the financial years 2019/20 to 2021/22. The five year programme will provide £100m investment in the homes and communities of Angus by increasing the Council’s investment in building new homes and improving existing stock. We will:
- Upgrade 2,250 heating systems, around 450 per year.
- Install energy efficiency measures in around 3,000 homes including external insulation.
- Accelerate the bathroom programme to deliver around 7,000 new bathrooms over the next eight years. This will see a new bathroom in every Council home by 2026.
- Continue our ongoing adaptations programme, supported by funding of up to £520,000 per annum. This supports people to live independently in their own homes
- Deliver around 80 new build units per year over the next four years, including at least 20% for particular needs. Projects proposed include large scale regeneration at Timmergreens, Arbroath, redevelopment of land at Invertay House, Monifieth and the use of surplus land at Coronation Way, Montrose.
- Continue to provide sprinkler systems in new build homes.
The construction activity in the plan will have a significant impact on the local economy and studies have shown that every £1 spent can generate £2.84 in indirect and direct economic stimulus. It is estimated that the agreed capital programme could:
- Generate economic benefit of £284m over the next five years
- Create and sustain around 1800 jobs
- Support at least 12 apprenticeship places
We are grateful to our tenants and staff for working with us to develop this ambitious programme which will have a significant positive effect on our communities.