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Fri December 06 2019

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East Ayrshire unveils £175m housing plan

21 Nov East Ayrshire Council has set out its plans for a £175m investment in housing over the next five years.

The council’s cabinet has considered a number of housing-related papers, including a Strategic Housing Investment Plan (SHIP) that outlines how the council will fulfil its commitment to support the Scottish Government’s target of delivering 50,000 affordable homes by 2021.

The plan identifies proposed affordable housing projects across East Ayrshire over the period from 2020 to2025, with a budget of £88m from East Ayrshire Council. It includes new-build affordable homes; investment in social housing; returning empty homes to the pools of housing stock; increasing the supply of properties suitable for older people and delivering accommodation to allow people to independent lives in their own communities.

Up to 985 new, rehabilitated and acquired affordable homes will be delivered through the new SHIP, in partnership with local registered social landlords.

Katie Kelly, depute chief executive, safer communities, said: “Our housing plans are about much more than just the fabric of the buildings. We want to create communities which are safe and secure and the SHIP complements the work already under way across community planning partners and communities to help sustain East Ayrshire’s communities.

“There are five developments currently on site, some completed, others nearing completion, namely David Dale Avenue in Stewarton, Tinto Avenue and Fraser Walk in Kilmarnock, Andrew Nisbet Place in Hurlford and Carskeoch Drive in Patna.

“We’ve been working in partnership with CCG on these developments and we’ve seen a significant number of community benefits – we’ve appointed 10 new starts, created 7 new apprentices and implemented 7 work placements. And CCG has distributed £40,000 to community groups where local engagement events have been held with CCG and Vibrant Communities.

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“During the life of this plan we can expect to see more new starts, apprenticeships, and work placements, and support for community groups being delivered by CCG.”

The Local Housing Strategy 2019-2024 outlines the Council’s approach to meeting statutory duties such as minimising fuel poverty, tackling the effects of climate change and improving the condition of homes across all tenures – including all new homes which form part of the new SHIP.

The Local Housing Strategy is designed to ensure that everyone in East Ayrshire has access to good quality, energy-efficient housing, within safe, healthy and vibrant communities.

In addition, proposals set out in the Housing Investment Programme (HIP) (2020-2025) to ensure that all properties are well maintained and continue to meet the requirements of both the Scottish Housing Quality Standard (SHQS) and the Scottish government’s Energy Efficiency Standard for Social Housing. (EESSH). Currently 98.66% of East Ayrshire Council’s housing stock meets SQHS and 97.94% meets EESSH.

A budget of £86m has been allocated within the HIP for an extensive programme of asbestos removal, external envelop enhancements, window and door replacements, installation of more efficient heating and general modernisation of facilities and services.

Both the SHIP and the LHS have been informed by an assessment of local housing needs and demands, including the scale, type and location of affordable housing provision across the area.

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