Angus Housing Association (AHA) has published its annual report for 2011/12.
In it the outgoing chairman, Hazel Farquhar, has told the association’s tenants and members that while she was able to report a healthy financial surplus of £250,000, the downside of the year had been the need to reduce the size of the AHA staff team by effectively closing their development department.
This was done following a review of the association’s governance and staffing structure, prompted mainly by huge cuts in Scottish Government funding for new housing provision by Housing Associations.
Ms. Farquhar reported that regardless of having completed their restructuring without the need for compulsory redundancies, the process had been far from painless. She paid tribute to several long-standing staff members who had left through a combination of early retirement and voluntary redundancies, adding: “Their contribution to the work of Angus Housing Association will never be forgotten.”
As recently as three years ago, AHA was building around 100 affordable rented houses per year in Dundee and Angus. In 2011/12, this had reduced to 20 new homes - 14 at Westfield, Carnoustie and 6 at Lord Lyell Drive, Kirriemuir.
Commenting on plans for 2012/13 and beyond, Ms Farquhar added: “Indications at present are that those unfortunate enough to be on our waiting list for a rented home are unlikely to be helped any time soon. Currently, we are only planning to build four new houses in Arbroath in 2012/13.
“Beyond that, we have no definite plans for growth by development. The Scottish Government’s budget of £710 million for housing supply for the next three years, coupled with the new and unrealistically low, indicative levels of public subsidy per unit, leave us very fearful about our ability ever to develop new homes again.”