Council houses in Forres will have to wait “years” for insulation while private homeowners take advantage of Scottish Government grants.
Moray Council’s communities committee was updated yesterday about investment in properties across the region.
Chairman George Alexander pressed officials on why it appeared council-owned homes in Forres were being “missed out” for new insulation.
The local authority’s chief housing officer, Richard Anderson, said: “The main issue is we have a set budget that we have to work within priorities. It could be years before we get round all the council houses, we have to have that honesty.
“We look at what tenants are saying, and their ideal choices are about heating.”
Mr Anderson said the council was currently working on replacing old boilers in council houses.
Scottish Government grants of up to £7,500 have been made available to homeowners without them needing to make a contribution.
Committee members were told the council could not take advantage of the money “due to different funding streams”.
Housing officer Graeme Davidson said: “Council properties will be funded eventually the programme when grants become available. They are available now to owner-occupied but council houses may have to be deferred.”
The committee was told new houses in Dufftown had run over-budget because of higher than expected cost of ground works and infrastructure. Negotiations are currently taking place with the contractor and the final price will not be known until June.
Mr Davidson said he expected the total costs, including projects in Forres, Buckie, Keith and Glasgreen, would be on-budget.
Asbestos continues to be found in homes. This year 33 properties have had tanks or debris removed.
Council staff reported they had also been “finally successful” in recruiting an occupational therapist.