Delay in providing affordable homes

A plan to complete the building of 146 affordable houses in the Borders in 2014/15 fell short of the mark at 62.

Contractor performance issues were the main reason for the delay according to Scottish Borders housing managers in their annual report to councillors this week. It is expected that 87 homes that should have been completed in 2014/15 will now complete in the first quarter of this financial year.

The houses still to be completed, which include homes at Eyemouth’s Acredale estate and Todlaw, Duns, will be completed in the first quarter of the 2015-16 financial year.

Most of the houses are for social rent through housing associations such as Berwickshire Housing Association. Ten, however, are for mid-market rent through Bridge Homes, the council’s National Housing Trust, including homes at Ayton.

Since 2012 the council’s strategic housing investment plan (SHIP) was to deliver 331 new affordable homes at a cost of £43 million. In reality 232 homes have been built in that time.

Work on identifying land for the 2015-20 housing investment plan has begun now that the Scottish Government has confirmed that the initiative will continue until March 2019.