Council fight for housing cash
More than 400 council homes could be built acrossWest Dunbartonshire over the next five years as part of a £40million project if the council win a battle to secure more funding.
Frustrated members of the Labour administration have expressed concern that they are losing out on £13,000 per home built compared to cash handed to housing associations.
Ruling councillors vowed to build 100 more homes than the 335 already planned across the area if they manage to get the cash gap plugged.
Councillor David McBride told the housing and communities committee which he convenes:“We could have 100 new council homes for rent if the council is awarded parity with the housing associations. Councils receive less funding from the Scottish Government regarding new builds compared to housing associations.
“We could build 20 more homes every year for the next five years if we receive the same subsidy.This is completely unacceptable.
“I have written to the minister three times and the replies are getting more confusing and there’s no justification whatsoever.
“West DunbartonshireTenant and Resident Organisation has written to the minister and they have the same view.We are getting increasingly frustrated the minister is ignoring us and placing this council at a disadvantage.”
Council leader Martin Rooney confirmed the issue had also been raised with the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA) and added:“We get £57,000 per home, housing associations get £70,000.”
A report outlining the council house building schedule for the following five years was presented to the committee atWednesday’s meeting and described by the convener as“nothing short of a revelation for social housing”.
Strategic Lead for Housing and Communities Peter Barry said:“It’s not a wishlist.We are very confident we can deliver on this programme.
“West Dunbartonshire struggles with deprivation and poverty.
“This council can make a real difference.”