Glasgow & West Scotland

West Dunbartonshire Council drops housing transfer plan

Councillors in West Dunbartonshire have abandoned plans to transfer up to 5,000 homes to housing associations.

Tenants were due to be balloted in September about the proposal, which would have seen the authority shed almost half its 10,500 housing stock.

West Dunbartonshire will now invest £95m so the houses meet the Scottish Housing Quality Standard by 2015.

Councillors decided this was the best option for tenants and would best protect jobs and services.

The local authority's housing convener, Councillor David McBride, said: "This is a really positive decision by the council which is in the best interests of our valued tenants.

Job fears

"It was by no means certain that tenants were going to vote for partial stock transfer and a no vote would have delayed essential housing improvements and prevented us meeting the Scottish Housing Quality Standards by 2015.

"There were also concerns over the lack of regeneration investment associated with the existing bids, continuing uncertainty on rent levels and fears over council job losses."

Mr McBride said the decision would answer "all those questions" and ensure that the authority would be "a major housing provider for the next 30 years at least".

It is hoped the change of policy will allow demolition of surplus stock at Bellsmyre, Glenside and North Mountblow to proceed sooner than previously planned.

The council has also committed to investing £3.6m in regenerating areas across West Dunbartonshire.

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