Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Only half of Aberdeen’s promised 2,000 council houses will be built by next May

Council leader Jenny Laing's Aberdeen Labour group pledged to build 2,000 new council houses in the city within the council terms
Council leader Jenny Laing's Aberdeen Labour group pledged to build 2,000 new council houses in the city within the council terms.

Aberdeen City Council will manage to build only half of its promised 2,000 homes by next year’s deadline, Town House bosses have confirmed.

The Labour-led coalition running the council pledged £250 million to the ambitious council house building scheme in 2018.

Council leader Jenny Laing’s nine councillors were voted in on a manifesto pledge to add the 2,000 properties to the local authority’s housing stock.

But with only 350 houses added so far, top officials have now confirmed only “around half” – somewhere between 800 and 1,000 – would be completed in the next 12 months.

The other 1,000 are expected to all be under construction by Christmas, however.

There are currently 5,735 applicants on the council house waiting list in Aberdeen – down from 6,100 last April and more than 7,600 in 2015.

Rising construction costs plus shortage of materials and workers likely to continue throughout 2021

Council resources director Steve Whyte blamed a nationwide effort to stir the economy through infrastructure investment for sinking hopes of having 2,000 built within the next year.

“I appreciate everybody thinks of the impact of Covid being sites closed for three months,” he said.

“But what we are actually feeling is the impact in the supply chain, which is pretty dramatic.

“We understand there is a national shortage of cement, for example.

“Visiting sites, contractors explained that they are now struggling to get materials, and this is likely to continue for a considerable period of time.

“So the impact of Covid isn’t just the closure period last year, this is going to be quite extensive and it looks like it will continue for a large part of this year.

“Construction inflation is running exceptionally high as well – in some aspects up to 20%.

“So there is going to be a considerable impact going forward and, in terms of the delivery, our intention is to either complete, or have under construction, 2,000 units by the end of this calendar year or the start of the next – but certainly by May next year.”

Administration leader Jenny Laing at Manor Walk, where dozens of new council homes were completed in 2017 as part of the 2,000-home pledge.
Administration leader Jenny Laing at Manor Walk, where dozens of new council homes were completed in 2017 as part of the 2,000-home pledge.

So far, the council has built 179 units at Smithfield and Manor Walk, another 67 at Wellheads in Dyce and bought back 104 former council homes.

Designers are yet to be hired for the single largest project at Greenferns, where 897 homes will be built.

Asked by Mrs Laing whether financial incentives would speed up the process at sites around the city, with the aim of getting closer to the 2,000 target.

Mr Whyte said he was “99.9% certain the answer would be no”.

He added: “Unfortunately I do not think we would be able to accelerate the programme any faster if we throw money at it, if I can call it that.”

Around 500 people have so far been involved in the construction projects, with hopes 500 more will be brought in for upcoming work.

Mrs Laing said: “I am delighted that the council’s pledge to build 2,000 homes is well on track.

“This administration is committed to building social housing right across the city and it was gratifying to learn at the capital committee that planning applications for much-needed social housing have been submitted for the regeneration areas of Craighill, Kincorth and Tillydrone.

“These homes will be additional to the homes being delivered at Dyce, Summerhill, Auchmill Road, Cloverhill and Grandhome.”

Citizens will be ‘astounded’ at shortfall against 2,000-home promise

Hailed as the largest council house building programme in Aberdeen for 50 years, the work has proved politically controversial.

It was branded “pie in the sky” by opposition councillors due to claims the 2,000 homes would be built in the dwindling days before next year’s local election.

Councillor Alex Nicoll, the SNP group leader, said the public would be 'astounded' by the shortfall, measured against the 2,000 council house promise.
Councillor Alex Nicoll, the SNP group leader, said the public would be ‘astounded’ by the shortfall, measured against the 2,000 council house promise.

SNP group leader on the council, Alex Nicoll, said: “We are more than four years into this council term, we’ve only seen a small fraction of the promised homes being delivered.

“It has been clear for a while that the 2,000-homes pledge was not going to be met but I think the shortfall will leave people astounded.

“I would have been sympathetic if the administration had fallen just short of their target given everything that’s been going on.

“To hear that, in a best case scenario, this administration will deliver less than half of the homes they promised shows that they were never on course to meet their commitments this term.

“Unfortunately it seems this administration were more concerned about putting their pledges on billboards than they were about actually delivering them.”

But council leader Laing fired back: “As we move forward with the biggest social house building programme for 50 years, it is disappointing that councillor Nicoll and his SNP group’s only contribution to the housing debate is to snipe from the sidelines and undermine the efforts of our hardworking council officers as they progress with this ambition and much-needed social housing programme.

“As we head towards the election in 2022, I remain very proud of our administration’s record of investing in both the people and place of Aberdeen, including the £250m we included in our 2018 capital budget which has allowed these social homes to be built for the people of Aberdeen.”

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]