Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Minister and Convenor Open New Dundee Housing Project

Something cheered me hugely today. Alex Neil the Housing Minister and Dundee’s Housing Convenor Jimmy Black, opened the new building project in Mains Loan, Dundee, and laid the first stones. This project will build the first council houses in Dundee for 20 years. Initially seven family homes will be built and three wheelchair friendly units, with more in the pipeline.

Councillor Black said: "It is a significant event, marking the start of Dundee's first new council house builds for at least two decades and the Scottish Government funding will help the city achieve its aim of providing more than 70 new council homes over the next few years.

"The new homes that are planned will help address a shortage of family homes and houses that are designed to make life easier for people with disabilities.

"All the houses have been designed to provide high standards of energy efficiency through increased insulation levels which exceed current building regulation requirements. This should mean lower heating costs for tenants, better noise insulation and help achieve carbon-saving targets."

According to Joe Fitzpatrick, one of Dundee’s MSPs, in the last year the Scottish Government has provided local authorities with £75 million to build 2,300 new council houses and the planned radical legislation to end the right to buy for new social housing will ensure that those new homes remain accessible, affordable and available for future generations.

For far too long, in my opinion, the standard of council housing in Dundee has been too low. The best ones were long since bought and profits made on them. What has been left was the slum property in the least desirable areas, and some semi derelict multi-storey properties. There was a desperate need for new council housing. It is good to know that once they are built they will not be sold off cheap.

As an added bonus this project is providing employment opportunities for the builders, a local construction firm. It’s just a win win win situation.

Well done to the Scottish Government and Dundee City Council.

Pics: Jimmy Black; Alex Neil; Joe Fitzpartick


  1. Building new council homes is long over due in Scotland. I think Labour built a whopping 7 council homes in Scotland in 8 years when they were in power so the benchmark has been set.

    Quality along with quantity is needed to ensure families across all of Scotland can once again live in a comfortable affordable home.

  2. Yes Allan, particularly in respect of the fact that the prices of houses have risen dramatically in the past few years putting them beyond the means of the average young person/couple, given that they have student loans to pay back too.

  3. Alex looks as if he's sitting in one of these old railway carriages. Mind you I know it's that silly window seat in his SP office because I've sat in one myself.

    Thank goodness they've stopped the right to buy.

  4. Tris

    As great as these new houses are, and very much needed after the neglect of the Labour years, what I find very pleasing is the timing of this announcement.

    Looks like we have a lot of very politically savvy people in Dundee, where we can maximize announcements like this.

    Hope that this announcement will ensure the "full house" in Dundee.

  5. Yes SR a smart policy, which will stop people profiteering from tax payers money.

    The pods are weird. I don't know if anyone ever uses them to sit and think. Personally I didn't find them condusive to thought. A nice comfy armchair would be better for that.

  6. Hi Dubbieside:

    I wonder who had the bright idea to do that?

    Nice to see some political savvy for a change. The SNP is far too nice. Hopefully this will contribute to a victory tomorrow that will mean SNP City.

  7. Tris
    It took me a while to finally get onto the property market when I moved through too Edinburgh 9 years ago and the situation has only got worse for First time buyers and those looking for a home to rent which they can afford.

    Plenty of houses being built on the waterfront if people have £250,000 to spend.

  8. Allan

    £250,000 is pretty difficult to raise if you work for minimum wage, and there's plenty of that in Dundee.

    Home ownership is not right for everyone. People, for example who can't afford the repairs when something needs done. This is particularly irksome in a block of flats where repairs need to be done to keep the building up to scratch, but there are some who only just manage the monthly mortgage cheque and the monthly council tax, and so the building goes to ruin.

    In many continental countries there are few people who own their own properties. I don’t know why we need to encourage everyone into something that many can’t afford.

    So many people have been put on the dole, or reduced to part time working by this recession. If they had been in rented accommodation it would not have been so bad for them.

    Most people I know who work in the private sector have been asked to take pay cuts, or freezes, or lose some hours. People I know who work in the public sector have been luckier, but their luck is about to change. If your income is small to begin with then having it reduced can make paying the mortgage difficult. Fortunately interest rates have been low recently. That’s likely to change soon.

    Good quality rented accommodation is important. So often what is there is either dilapidated or new and of such a poor quality you can hear everything upstairs or next door are doing, and saying. One of my mates lives in a house where he can hear next door’s telly, which seems to be on 18/7. It’s a nightmare.

    Let’s hope the new houses are of a decent quality.

  9. Tris

    I can't agree more with what you have wrote. I'm sure you are right and if we did have more affordable rented homes for people then the rescission would not had hit them as bad.

    All across Europe home ownership is low when compared to the UK so I don't see any problem why we cant have more affordable rented homes here.

    Your right again, the private sector has taken a hit at the moment but when the government cuts come then the public sector will be hit hard.

    I have not been asked to take a wage cut but my wage budget has been slashed for the next 6 months but for the moment its only overtime hours that have been affected thankfully.

    When it's the public sectors turn to take a hit I rather suspect that there will be mass strikes etc while workers in the private sector just have to get on with it because money does not grow on trees in the private sector.

    That might be a bit harsh because it wasn't the public sector that caused the crash.

  10. Allan:

    It was only the financial sector that caused the recession. Banking and insurance. That of course and the government that allowed them to self regulate.

    But we will all pay. I see that in Greece they are talking of reduced pensions. I don't know how you could do that to our pensionners who already die of the cold every year.

    We mustn't let it happen no matter what it takes. Cut anything else, but not old folks paultry pensions.

    In the mean time the bankers just will NOT brook any reductions to thier income.

    And we allow this....go figure.