ANGUS Council’s convener of neighbourhood services has announced that social housing construction in Angus is at its highest point since the start of the recession.
Councillor Donald Morrison made the statement in response to an article in last week’s Guide & Gazette.
In the article, Karen Nicoll, newly appointed president of the Dundee and Angus branch of the Scottish Builders’ Federation, called on Angus Council to invest more money in social housing projects.
Councillor Morrison said: “While I congratulate Ms Nicoll in her new post and look forward to meeting and working with the Association, the public need to be aware of the most up to date figures.
“Official figures published by the Scottish Government show that 136 new-build social houses were started on site in Angus during 2012, the highest figure for six years and the second highest since 1998.
“The previous high of 143 in 2006 was achieved before the recession hit, so the new figure reinforces Angus Council’s message that it is doing all it can to combat the worst effects of the economic downturn by stimulating activity in the local construction industry through investment in new affordable house-building.
“Both the council and our Housing Association partners recognise the importance of house building to the local economy, so the delivery of new affordable homes is one of our highest priorities.
“That’s why we are not only building many new council houses, but we are also working in partnership with private developers across Angus to build up to 76 additional affordable homes as part of our Survive and Thrive Initiative.
“Indeed, only last week elected members agreed for 12 new social housing with an additional five properties earmarked for former service personnel to be built on the Camus House site in Carnoustie.
“However, it’s not just about numbers. We recognise that for our tenants and people on the waiting list, it’s also important that we build houses of the right type and in the right location, so that we can create places that Angus people are proud to call home.
“Because our new houses are also of exceptional quality, with very high levels of thermal insulation and extra safety features such as sprinklers, our tenants have backed us all the way on our current building programme and our plans for the future.”