The Highland Council has written to the tenants of 62 Council-owned flats at Glendoe Terrace, Inverness, to advise them of plans to modernise their homes in a phased programme of upgrading estimated to cost more than £3 million over a five year period.
Glendoe Terrace Residents’ Association have been involved in discussions over the future of the six blocks of flats and are fully in favour of the proposed modernisation programme.
The Council plans to replace windows in all the flats in the first half of next year.
Then from April 2010, a separate block will be modernised each spring until 2015. Work will be completed quicker, if possible. Work will include the fitting of new kitchens, new bathrooms, rewiring, new flooring and the redecking of communal landings.
It is estimated that tenants will be decanted for five months to allow works to be carried out.
The work is being carried out by the Council to meet the Scottish Housing Quality Standard by 2015.
Within the six blocks of flats, there are 10 flats which are privately owned. These will not be involved in the programme.
Throughout all of the work, the Council will be working closely with tenants to make decant arrangements and to give tenants choices of fittings for the interiors, such as kitchens and bathrooms.
Councillor Margaret Davidson, Chairman of the Housing and Social Work Committee, said: “This is an ambitious refurbishment project and I am delighted that right from the start, a fully inclusive approach has been taken. Council staff have been working very closely with the Residents’ Association and have held several public meetings to find out what people’s aspirations for their homes are and we are committed to making the whole refurbishment programme a success. Once completed, I am sure that is will give the whole area a welcome boost.”
An innovative aspect of the engagement with tenants was a door to door survey and subsequent report carried out by Tenant Information Service.
Steve Barron, Director of Housing and Property, said: "This is an excellent example of how the Council aims to improve tenant participation in its decision making. As part of the planning process a door to door survey was carried out by the independent Tenants Information Service canvassing residents views. This generated valuable information about residents concerns and preferences. These views have directly influenced the Council's approach to the project and how the refurbishment will be carried out."
Residents’ association chair, Dawn Beaton, who has co-ordinated all of the consultation work with tenants said: “This is great news for the tenants of Glendoe Terrace. We have worked very closely with the new Director of Housing and Property, Steve Barron, and his team and have found a very positive way forward which promises major investment for our housing community.”