THE marketing of dementia-friendly housing in Alloa is set to start this month with units to be completed by March next year.

However, there is a funding gap to be filled in order to complete the 60-unit development at Primrose Street, councillors on the Place Committee will hear on Thursday, September 9.

As previously highlighted, the town centre housing development – underway on a brownfield site by the Speirs Centre in a partnership between Clacks Council and Kingdom Housing Association – will look to cater for an ageing community in Alloa.

The development, hailed as a “flagship opportunity”, will feature a dementia-friendly design with enhanced architectural links to the town centre.

Council documents said: “However, these elements critical to the success of the project, are not currently permissible under the government's affordable homes programme.

“This therefore left a funding shortfall of £990k.”

Councillors at the meeting will be asked to consider closing the funding gap for the development with several cash streams available.

It could be met from a funding mix with an additional £80,000 contribution from Kingdom Housing, around £30,000 from the Town Centre Capital Fund, as well as up to £512,000 from the Place Based Investment Programme.

The latter two are Scottish Government grants and spending up to £512,000 for the project will require central approval.

Also helping to plug the gap could be £178,000 council tax from second home income, which is ring-fenced for affordable housing.

At least £191,500 would also come from the council's own Housing Revenue Account, which could provide more cash if the government does not allow the full use of the previously mentioned £512,000.

Properties at the development will include two, three and four person apartments suitable for older tenants or tenants with particular housing needs.

In terms of allocating the units, council papers highlighted that an allocations group has been meeting monthly since last March.

The documents to be tabled added: “Good progress has been made to agree a special allocation policy to target particular needs groups and to ensure the new properties are put to best use.

“Active marketing activities will begin in September 2021 with the allocation process to start in January 2022.”

Tomorrow's meeting will also hear an update on developments at Elm Grove and Carsebridge Road in Alloa, Barnshill Park in Sauchie, Lower Mill Street and Park Street in Tillicoultry as well as Lochies Road in Clackmannan.

Elected members will also hear that tender costs for new builds have risen by around 30-40 per cent since March 2020.

Council papers added: “This is a challenge going forward to make projects viable within current Scottish Government grant levels.

“The Scottish Government were expected to announce a rise in grant funding levels early summer 2021,subject with discussion with COSLA.

“To date, a formal public announcement has yet to be made.”