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£100m Renfrewshire housing transformation takes big step forward

on 19 January 2022 0

An ambitious £100m ten-year plan to transform the quality of council housing in eight areas throughout Renfrewshire has been given the green light to move to the next stage.

Councillors today agreed updated plans for the Housing Regeneration and Renewal Programme, revised after an in-depth consultation with the 1,500-plus affected residents last year.

The programme aims to create modern, high quality, energy-efficient and affordable council housing throughout Renfrewshire, while improving the wider neighbourhoods as places to live and contributing to the area’s recovery from the pandemic.

It will see a mix of investment to improve existing buildings and the common areas around them, with potential demolition and new-build in some areas.

The eight areas covered by the first phase of the programme are: Auchentorlie Quadrant/Seedhill Road, Howard Street area, Waverley Road, Thrushcraigs area, Ferguslie/Broomlands area, Springbank Road area (all Paisley), Moorpark (Renfrew) and the Howwood Road area (Johnstone).

Last year council housing staff carried out an in-depth consultation with affected residents, tenants and owners over several months to capture their views on the initial plans, and that feedback has now been analysed and published.

Overall, 72% of tenants who responded broadly agreed with the plans. In four of the areas, the plans have now been changed in line with resident feedback. In the other four, the vast majority of residents confirmed they were happy for the original plans to be delivered.

Residents were also asked for their views on their neighbourhood as a place to live. That feedback will be used to help develop a neighbourhood plan for each area which will consider wider issues such as health and wellbeing, travel, outdoor areas, and access to services.

Members of the Communities, Housing and Planning board agreed to give officers authority to move forward with the programme when they met earlier today.

Convener of the board, Cllr Marie McGurk, said: “These updated proposals set out a hugely ambitious, positive and forward-thinking vision for the future of council housing in Renfrewshire and we are delighted members have agreed to proceed with them.

“The work will transform the look and quality of council housing and the common areas around them, while making them more energy-efficient, reducing fuel bills for residents, and contributing to the area’s wider climate-change targets.

“But what sets this programme apart is that it’s about so much more than investing in bricks and mortar – it’s about working with residents to consider all the factors that help make an area a great place to live, and work with them to create neighbourhoods they can be proud of.

“I want to thank every resident who took the time to respond to the consultation – nobody knows our neighbourhoods better than the people living in them, so your feedback was really important to us, and allowed us to reshape the plans in line with what you told us.

“I’d also like to recognise the staff from our housing team for their efforts to speak to as many people as possible during the consultation, despite the restrictions placed on them by the pandemic.

“We will be back in touch with affected residents in the coming weeks to set out what the plans will mean for them, and will stay in close contact over the months and years ahead as the plans move forward.”

The plans will see around 500 new social-rented homes being delivered across six of the eight areas. Council staff will now take forward the technical work required to assess each site for the delivery of newbuild housing.

The updated proposals for each area can now be viewed at www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/housing-regen-programme and council staff wrote to each resident last week to make them aware.

Staff will now write again to each resident or owner with more information on next steps and the likely timeline for work in their area.

That will include setting out the options and financial support available to private owners of properties in shared blocks earmarked for improvement or demolition.

Any council tenants in properties which are to be demolished will be offered suitable alternative housing in line with the council’s allocation policy.

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