Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser

Housing scheme hits new milestone


A scheme delivering additional council homes has hit a new milestone with a 500th property being purchased.

North Lanarkshir­e Council, Scotland’s largest local authority landlord, launched its open market purchase scheme in April 2018.

That was as an expansion to its Empty Homes Purchase Scheme and aimed to provide new homes and futures for families and individual­s across the authority area.

The scheme enables the purchase of properties that are for sale on the open market and are generally former council houses which were purchased under right to buy.

The council receives a grant funding contributi­on from the Scottish Government towards the cost of each purchase.

Pamela Humphries from North Lanarkshir­e Council told the Advertiser: “When we launched this scheme, we identified properties which would boost our current housing stock, represent good value for money and, most importantl­y, make a real difference for people within our communitie­s.

“Some homes had become an eye sore having been abandoned or neglected by owners, while others were being sold in areas in which we knew there was high demand for council properties.

“We are delighted the scheme has proven such a success and has meant we can get more people into homes in the communitie­s they want to live in.

“Despite the issues caused during the health pandemic, this financial year alone, we have managed to purchase 40 homes with another 21 being concluded by our legal team. Our surveyors are also in the process of valuing another 29 properties which have been identified as potential purchases.

“There has been huge interest in people wanting to take part and we are continuing to work with sellers to identify good properties in our towns and villages which will provide more options for our tenants.”

Heather Brannan-mcvey, convener of housing and regenerati­on, said: “We have ambitious plans to enhance and improve our housing stock and deliver 5000 new homes for rent by 2035.

“We have already completed nearly 850 new-build homes with many more either under constructi­on or in the planning stages.

“The open market scheme lets us buy homes in areas where there is demand for that type and size of property.

“Our focus is on meeting the changing housing needs of our tenants and this scheme, in addition to our new-build supply, provides opportunit­ies to increase and improve the homes we currently have available for local people.”

At a meeting of the housing and regenerati­on committee, elected members agreed to extend the scheme further to allow the targeted purchase of homes in blocks to allow common works to progress, with the owner being given the option to remain in the property as a council tenant.

More informatio­n on the scheme and homes which would be considered for purchase is available at https://www. northlanar­ new-build-housing/open-market-purchasesc­heme

 ?? ?? Huge interest Councillor Heather Brannan-mcvey and Pamela Humphries, head of planning and regenerati­on
Huge interest Councillor Heather Brannan-mcvey and Pamela Humphries, head of planning and regenerati­on

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