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Sun February 28 2021

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Falkirk plans £316m housing boost

22 Jan 20 Falkirk Council has committed £316m over the next five years for new housing and improvements to existing homes.

The five-year plan includes investment to build 602 new homes for rent in various communities across the area. Locations include Hallglen, Falkirk, Grangemouth, Bonnybridge, Torwood, Denny, Banknock, Polmont, Langlees, Stenhousemuir and Bainsford.

In 2020/21, over £52m will be spent on improvements to thousands of properties  including £11.5m on re-roofing and roughcasting and £3.9m on replacement kitchens and bathrooms. The projects will enable the upgrade of 5,300 homes.

A further £2m will be spent on energy-efficiency works with about 1,100 properties each year being given new heating systems, as well as £4.5m in heating upgrades to three high rise blocks.

A programme of door and window replacement will also begin in 2020/21, with £12m allocated for the replacement of doors and windows in 1,500 homes.

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A further £3.5m is allocated for estate improvements such as fences, walls and paths. A total of £3.3m will be invested to take forward renewable energy-efficiency projects across priority properties. There is also £1.1m for improving the lifts in the council’s high-rise properties.

Falkirk Council will continue its programme of ‘buy backs’ of former council homes, purchasing around 80 properties a year.

Councillor Gordon Hughes, spokesperson for housing said: “This is a significant investment across our housing estate and will benefit many tenants across the area. We recognise the importance of investing in our housing stock and have been increasing our housing investment programme year on year. To put this in context, this investment programme is three times the level of ten years ago and is part of a long-term programme to bring all of our properties up to the Scottish Housing Quality Standard and maintain these high quality standards in the future.”

The investment programme is entirely separate from the Council’s other budgets and revenue raised by means such as housing rents and grants can only be reinvested in housing programmes and no other aspect of council services.

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