Council’s housing budget set to grow this year

Woodhill House, Aberdeen.
Woodhill House, Aberdeen.

Aberdeenshire Council spent more than £20m upgrading existing homes and building new council housing in financial year 2013/14 according to a report which will be presented to its Social Work and Housing Committee this week.

In a further report councillors will also be told of plans to spend a further £57m in the current financial year which is £14m more than originally forecast.

The council have successfully delivered 163 new council homes in phases 1-4 of its New Build programme following successful bids to the Scottish Government.

Work has now started on phase 5 with a further 220 houses being built in Fraserburgh and other North-east towns.

In addition eight properties will be built in Inverurie as part of the planned Care Village which is already under construction.

The remodelling of four existing Sheltered Housing complexes across Aberdeenshire to become Very Sheltered Housing is also continuing.

Just under £16m was spent last year on improvements to existing homes in Aberdeenshire. This included upgrading heating, kitchens, doors, roofing, insulation, sprinklers and door entry systems as well as rewiring.

The committee will be told that there was an underspend of £5.7m last year mainly due to delays in insulation projects being carried out under the Health Energy Efficiency Programmes Scotland (HEEPS) and tenants refusing heating upgrades.

The service expects to spend £25m on stock improvement in the current financial year, the vast majority of which will again be on upgrading heating systems and fitting new kitchens and bathrooms.

The reports also reveal that sales of council houses brought in £2.4m in revenue last year while over £400,000 was received from developer contributions for affordable housing provision.