At the AGM last night. Chair Paul Torrance was able to report on another very successful year both financially and in terms of the level of tenant satisfaction with our services.
He said “we’re conscious of the pressures our tenants face in terms of falling incomes and benefit changes. There is the real risk that these will have a knock on effect on our rental income and with it on the quality of service that we can offer. There remain real challenges as the UK Government’s so-called welfare reform is rolled out. I’m pleased to say though, thanks to our staff, that our performance in terms of rent collection and getting houses re-let as soon as possible remains excellent.
I mentioned last year the major reduction in Scottish Government funding for new rented housing. This means that for the foreseeable future Ayrshire Housing is unlikely to be commissioning new building projects on the scale of the Cathedral project which we finished in the spring.
Having said this, we continue to look for new development opportunities of a manageable scale. We are focusing on smaller sites which are likely to be viable financially. In taking these forward, we aim to work closely with the Community Councils and other groups to ensure that we make the most impact in terms of local housing needs for our investment.
The Board is conscious that we have a waiting list of 3,500. So it’s important that we still strive to build – however modestly – provided that it doesn’t put the quality of service to our existing tenants at risk”.
On a lighter note, the meeting highlighted the contribution of Ayrshire Housing’s longest serving Board member, tenant Pearl Boyd. When her time with Carrick Housing Association is added, this translates into almost 20 years of voluntary service. It was unanimously agreed to make her Ayrshire Housing’s first Honorary President as a measure of recognition.
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