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East Ayrshire council approves £175m housing investment over next five years

East Ayrshire council has set out its vision for housing and housing services over the next five years, with a total investment of £175m.

East Ayrshire council has approved plans for the future of housing and housing services over the next five years, with a total investment of £175m.

The Strategic Housing Investment Plan (SHIP) 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 next five years from 2020-2025 – with a budget of £88m from East Ayrshire Council – and includes new-build affordable homes; investment in social housing; returning empty homes to the pools of effective housing stock; increasing the supply of properties suitable for older people and delivering accommodation solutions to allow people to live healthy, 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, and elements of the new-build programme will be aligned with specific requirements identified by the Health and Social Care Partnership.

The first year of the programme (2020-2021) will include the creation of 390 new homes in Newmilns, Kilmarnock, Auchinleck, Drongan and Cumnock. A further 277 new homes will be introduced during the second year of the plan (2021-2022) in Mauchline, New Cumnock, Cumnock, Kilmaurs and Kilmarnock. During year three of the SHIP (2022-2023) 166 new homes will be created in Kilmarnock, Stewarton, Newmilns and Auchinleck. The remaining 152 homes will be delivered over the two remaining years of the plan, 84 in year four and 68 in year five.

Katie Kelly, deputy 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 underway 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. We’ve been working in partnership with CCG on these developments and we’ve seen a significant number of community benefits. And CCG has distributed £40,000 to community groups where local engagement events have been held with CCG and Vibrant Communities.

“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.

In addition, proposals set out in the Housing Investment Programme (HIP) (2020-2025) will 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.

With a budget of £86m, an extensive programme of asbestos removal, external envelop enhancements, window and door replacements, efficient heating installations and general modernisation of facilities and services is planned as part of the HIP.