Council add to housing stock with £900,000 spend

ERC are to buy up to 10 new homes.
ERC are to buy up to 10 new homes.

East Renfrewshire Council are to spend £900,000 on buying up houses to supplement their dwindling stock.

The council invoked a little-used emergency approval scheme which only requires the signatures of two council members, thereby effectively bypassing cabinet.

The Scottish Government had offered East Ren a grant of £500,000, however it came with the strict condition that the council spend the money within three months.

Officers from within the local authority received the assent of councillor Danny Devlin and and council leader Jim Fletcher to proceed with the deal.

It is thought that the cash injection will allow the council to purchase up to ten homes to add to their housing portfolio.

Director of environment Iain Maclean, will deliver the report to the cabinet which says: “The Scottish Government has, at short notice, offered East Renfrewshire Council a grant of up to £500,000 (50 per cent grant funding) to purchase on the open market up to a total of 10 dwellings, which must be either one bedroom dwellings anywhere across the council area or three bedroom properties within the Levern Valley area.

“This will assist in increasing the number of social rented houses in East Renfrewshire. This scheme is known as “Rented Off The Shelf”.”

Councillor Danny Devlin, Convener of Housing, said: “We are delighted to be adding to the social housing stock within East Renfrewshire. The offer of grant from the Scottish Government makes this a cost-effective route and, as we are required to have all purchases completed by the end of March, means we will be able to offer these additional properties to tenants in the very near future.

“ERC is committed to increasing our housing stock in the coming years after it reduced by around 50 per cent over the last three decades, through the Right to Buy policy. These homes will be in addition to the £10.4m investment to build 200 homes for social rent by 2020 and are a great step in the right direction.”