Housing plan ‘might not be plain sailing’

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A new report will detail East Renfrewshire’s strategic housing investment plan (SHIP).

It shows that the Scottish Government is expected to hand the council £17.8m to fund new affordable housing schemes across East Renfrewshire.

Between next year and 2022, the council is hoping to build 326 socially rented homes, with a further 271 to be created between 2022 and 2024.

Projects at Maidenhill and in the north and south of Barrhead have been put forward for funding as part of the SHIP, alongside developments in Neilston, Netherlee, Newton Mearns and Clarkston.

But East Renfrewshire Council’s director of Environment, Andrew Cahill, has warned that it might not be plain sailing for some affordable housing schemes.

He said: “Historic challenges have been associated with delivering the SHIP programme, both in relation to project slippage and the ownership of sites, despite over-programming.

“These risks will be mitigated as far as possible by ongoing monitoring of delivery of the agreed programme, as well as continuing to identify land and other projects going forward which could address the shortfall in affordable homes in East Renfrewshire.”

Mr Cahill also warned of “significant pressure” and changing housing priorities as the number of elderly households increases across the local authority area.

The strategic housing investment plan (SHIP) identifies where land, subsidies and other resources will be used to address affordable housing needs.

The Scottish Government have set aside more than £3bn to give to local authorities in a bid to build 50,000 affordable homes throughout the country.

As part of that it’s expected that £5.9m will be given to East Renfrewshire Council this year. But if that money is not spent, it may not be carried forward to the next year.

This year the council will complete its building of 23 affordable homes at Robertson Street and Fenwick Drive in Barrhead.