£3m to help home people in need in Fife

Fife Council has approved plans to increase the purchase of ex-council houses to help tackle homelessness.

The local authority experienced a 70% fall in termination of tenancies since the beginning of lockdown, and it hopes that acquiring additional properties will increase the number it can let to people in need.

At a policy and Coordination committee, the council increased its commitment from 50 to 100 additional houses by the end of March 2021.

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The project will cost a net total of £3 million, and each house will be acquired at an average of £100,000.

Individual properties will attract a £40,000 subsidy from the Scottish Government, leaving a net cost for the council of £60,000 for each.

John Mills head of Fife housing services said: "What we need is an increase in the number of empty houses to let to people in need.”

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All councillors welcomed the increase in housing acquisition at the meeting.

Councillor Neil Crooks said: "I'm really happy to see the increase in the numbers.

“We've got so many families out there that are desperate to get better accommodation that would be suiting their needs and this is going to achieve that.

"Most of the properties being acquired by the council are bigger family properties- with three, four or five bedrooms- and that's the right thing to do.

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"We know the needs are really quite high and this proposal shows we can do more rather than continue at the same level as the housing need is massive in Fife."

> Hannah Brown is the Local Democracy Reporter for Fife & Angus

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