At its Special Council Meeting last night (Thursday 25 February), East Dunbartonshire Council agreed its Housing Revenue and Capital Budget for the year ahead.
Taking account of £1.65 million employee costs, £3.45 million for property and other operating costs, central support totalling £2.45 million, debt charges of £3.48 million and assumed borrowing of £13.5 million to support the housing capital investment programme, the income required from housing rent for the budget was £14.57 million.
Joint Council Leader Vaughan Moody said, “Mindful of the challenging financial impact of Covid-19 on our communities, we have been able to keep our rent increases to a bare minimum of just 0.5% which equates to the average weekly rent over a 48 week period of just 42p. This is well below our benchmarking comparisons and is largely supported by our tenants.
“We are also establishing a Hardship Fund to support those whose tenancies are at risk due to financial hardship – exacerbated by the pandemic. This builds on our ongoing Council commitment to support the most vulnerable in our communities and tackle financial deprivation and poverty.”
The Housing capital budget for 2021/22 is £28.27 million, which includes:
- £4.75 million investment in meeting the Scottish Housing Quality standards and energy efficiency standards and improving the safety and liveability of our council houses
- £12.45 million on the development of new affordable housing through our Affordable Housing Investment Programme
- £5.37 million to fund purchasing new homes using turnkey arrangements from developers
- £3.2 million to fund purchasing properties from the open market and
- £2.4 million for the implementation of a new Integrated Housing management system.
Joint Council Leader Andrew Polson explained, “Our capital programme – both for 2021/22 and our five year capital overview – demonstrates our commitment to continually improving our current housing stock, ensuring it meets both quality and energy efficiency standards. Our capital housing budget also sees substantial investment to expand our housing stock through both new builds and a range of purchase schemes.
“Overall we have delivered a housing budget that recognises our current and future need. Our revenue and capital investment priorities demonstrates a balanced budget for the year ahead and takes account of the truly challenging circumstances our tenants currently face.”
Here are the speeches made by the Joint Leaders at the budget meeting: