TENANTS of council properties across West Dunbartonshire will see their rent increase by 1.9 per cent in a bid to fund 350 new homes.

It is the third year in a row that councillors have managed to agree a below-inflation rent increase with 40 per cent of residents confirming this was their preferred option.

A record number of tenants took part in the consultation, with almost 600 more people having their say this year compared to last.

Alternatives included a 2 per cent and a 2.5 per cent increase which received 31.9 per cent and 27.5 per cent of the vote respectively.

Councillor Diane Docherty, convener of housing and communities, said: “I want to thank everyone who comes and walks around our housing estates to receive feedback.

“We have been working to improve the services of the tenants. The consultation was a great success with 845 people responding, up from 250 last year.

“A number of options were put forward for consideration following consultation. The 1.9 per cent rise is the best option for the tenants and can still enable an ambitious capital programme of works.”

The process also involved close consultation and a workshop with West Dunbartonshire Tenants and Residents Organisation (WDTRO) who were able to give their input before the report was submitted.

This increase will be used to fund an ambitious programme of investment in new and existing homes.

This will include 250 new central heating systems, 400 new roof coverings, 300 window/door renewals, 80 kitchen renewals, 600 electric shower installations, 3,000 smoke/fire detector installations and 400 homes getting external insulated rendering.

Cllr Docherty added: “We want to deliver the highest possible standards in our homes – both in our new builds and by making improvements to existing tenancies – while ensuring they remain affordable. This below-inflation increase will allow us to do that.”