Association warns of worsening housing crisis

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ANGUS HOUSING Association have voiced their concern about the availability of affordable properties after admitting they have no plans for any new build projects in the foreseeable future.

The association have just published their annual report for 2010/11 where they revealed some positive achievements including reducing rent arrears and tenant satisfaction sitting at 97 per cent.

But the association’s chairman Hazel Farquhar has issued a warning to members in her report about the future of group.

She said: “For the first time in 20 years, Angus Housing Association has no new build housing projects that are likely to be funded and start on site for the foreseeable future.

“The only potential funding for new homes that may be available to us in 2011/12 is the £30 million in the Scottish Government’s Innovation and Investment Fund that will be split over the whole of Scotland following a competitive bidding process.

“Compared to the scale of demand we face for affordable rented housing and the crisis faced by the housing and construction sectors in Scotland, this is no more than a drop in the ocean.”

And with the need for more affordable housing growing, Mrs Farquhar is worried that without more funding, Angus will be left without a developing housing association.

She added:” An indicative subsidy of £40,000 per house will mean that housing associations cannot build new homes without charging unaffordable high rents or cross subsidising the cost of building from our existing rental income streams.

“These are options which the committee of management of the association are unwilling to consider as they would threaten our long term financial viability and the way in which our tenants receive their services.

“Unfortunately, if these are the permanent limits placed on the subsidy of new build housing, Angus will no longer be a developing association.”