North Lanarkshire Council has announced its biggest investment in council housing for a generation.
It will spend £159m adding a further 1,000 houses to its current programme, brings the total number of council houses to be built in the next 10 years to 1,800 and the total programme to 2150. Of this, 633 units have already been built are under way.
Councillor Barry McCulloch, the convener of housing and social work services, said: “This is a massive investment for the people of North Lanarkshire. As Scotland’s biggest council landlord we understand that modern, accessible housing is a key priority and I’m delighted we will be able to deliver 1,800 new houses by 2026.
“We already had an extensive new-build programme in place, but we are determined to do what we can to meet considerable need. The quality of our new houses is unbelievable. They are energy-efficient, accessible and adaptable, which means the needs of people can really be taken into account. It means we can deliver a wide range of housing, including housing for older people, disabled people and young people setting up home for the first time.”
A report to the committee set out the criteria for the sites of the 1,000 additional homes, which will be partially paid for with the assistance of Scottish Government grant funding.
McCulloch added: “We will take into account housing need, acceptability in terms of planning legislation, cost of development and location, as well as the contribution more housing can make to wider regeneration priorities. The current programme is diverse and has sites across North Lanarkshire and clearly that’s something we would like to see continued.
“There are huge advantages to planning in this way. We can make sure we get the maximum efficiency through early procurement and a programme of this scale will also create jobs, boosting our economy.
The recommendations were the result of months of work by a member/officer group chaired by councillor Peter Sullivan. He said: “New council houses are badly needed but we had to work hard to identify the best and fairest way to deliver these in the current financial climate.
“Access to good quality, affordable housing is a major priority for us and this programme – the biggest in a generation – goes some way towards meeting demand for homes. I’m delighted that many more people will be able to live in safe, efficient and accessible homes as a result of our announcement today.”