Tenants in Highland Council houses will this week receive copies of a newsletter "Highland Tenant Update" updating them on the proposed transfer of Council homes to a new ‘not for profit’ organisation called Highland Housing Association and informing them of a roadshow, which gets underway on Monday 13th March.
Two separate vehicles will be touring the Highlands beginning simultaneously in Cromarty and Nairn on Monday 13 March and then touring round 47 Highland locations finishing in Dingwall on 30 March.
At the roadshow, tenants will have the chance to find out more about Highland Housing Association, which will take over the Council’s housing if tenants vote for transfer. Tenants will have the chance to say what they would like to see from the new Association.
Information and ideas gathered from the roadshow will be used to help draw up the Highland Housing Association’s business plan. This will form the basis of the proposal which tenants will then be asked to vote on later in the year.
The roadshow will offer information and advice on housing transfer. Representatives of both The Highland Council and Highland Housing Associations will be on hand to answer questions.
Councillor Margaret Davidson, Chairman of The Highland Council’s Housing and Social Work Committee said: "If we transfer the housing to Highland Housing Association, the Highland Council’s entire housing debt will be paid off. The Highland Housing Association will have much less debt than the Council. This means that more of the rent paid will be released to help finance new improvements, improve services and keep rents down, and less will be spent paying for past housing debt.
"I am convinced that transfer is the best way of preserving what is best about our housing service. I would encourage all tenants to visit one of the roadshow sessions to find out more."
Angus Maclean, Chairperson of Highland Housing Association said: "I believe that there are very strong arguments why transfer is good news for council tenants in the Highlands. Highland Housing Association will be able to improve homes to a standard that the Council could not afford – while still keeping rents within current Council budgets.
"This is not the only reason I believe that tenants should support transfer. It is just as much about creating a new organisation that listens to tenants and puts tenants first. That is why we are going round the Highlands listening to what tenants’ priorities are."
Notes to Editors:
Highland Housing Association is being developed by a Management Committee of 15 people; 5 Highland Council tenants; 5 Highland Councillors and 5 independent members. They have been meeting regularly since October 2005, and are all involved on a purely voluntary basis, none receive any payments other than travel expenses to attend meetings.
The roadshow will visit the following communities:
Location Date TIME Venue
Caithness, Ross & Cromarty, Skye & Lochalsh and Sutherland
Cromarty Mon 13 March 10am - 12 Noon Townlands Park
Fortrose Mon 13 March 3pm - 5pm Car Park by Fire Station
Muir of Ord Tues 14 March 10am - 12 Noon School Car Park
Strathpeffer Tues 14 March 3pm - 5pm Kinellan Drive
Kyle of Lochalsh Wed 15 March 10am - 12 Noon Swimming Pool Car Park
Broadford Wed 15 March 3pm - 5pm Tourist Information Office
Portree Thur 16 March 10am - 12noon Somerled Square
Dunvegan Thur 16 March 3pm - 5pm Lochside Car Park
Lochcarron Fri 17 March 10am - 12 Noon Village Hall Car Park
Gairloch Fri 17 March 3pm - 5pm Faolin
Ullapool Sat 18 March 10am - 12 Noon Morrisons Car Park
Lochinver Mon 20 March 10am - 12 Noon Village Hall Car Park
Durness Mon 20 March 3pm - 5pm Old Village Hall Car Park
Bettyhill Tues 21 March 10am - 12 Noon Munro Place Car Park
Thurso Tues 21 March 3pm - 5pm Opposite Riverside Replicas
Castletown Wed 22 March 10am - 12 Noon Main St Car Park opposite Spar Shop
Wick Wed 22 March 3pm - 5pm Market Square
Lybster Thur 23 March 10am - 12 Noon Car Park next to Old Police Station
Brora Thur 23 March 3pm - 5pm Co-op Car Park
Golspie Fri 24 March 10am - 12 Noon Fountain Road Car Park
Lairg Fri 24 March 3pm - 5pm Community Centre
Bonar Bridge Mon 27 March 10am - 12 Noon Village Hall
Dornoch Mon 27 March 3pm - 5pm The Square
Tain Tues 28 March 10am - 12 Noon Mansfield Estate
Balintore Tues 28 March 3pm - 5pm Abbotshaven
Alness Wed 29 March 10am - 4pm Car Park beside Service Point
Invergordon Thur 30 March 10am - 12 Noon Car Park rear Royal Bank of Scotland
Dingwall Thur 30 March 3pm - 5pm Tesco Car Park
Badenoch & Strathspey, Inverness, Lochaber and Nairn
Nairn Mon 13 March 10am - 12 Noon Somerfield Car Park
Auldearn Mon 13 March 3pm - 5pm Covenanters Inn
Grantown on Spey Tues 14 March 10am - 12 Noon Service Point, High Street
Aviemore Tues 14 March 3pm - 5pm Village Hall Car Park
Kingussie Wed 15 March 10am - 12 Noon Duke of Gordon Car Park
Laggan Bridge Badenoch Wed 15 March 3pm - 5pm Village Shop
Kinlochleven Thur 16 March 10am - 12 Noon Community Centre
Ballachulish Thur 16 March 3pm - 5pm Village Hall
Mallaig Friday 17 March 10am - 12 Noon Service Point
Caol Friday 17 March 3pm - 5pm Glen Loy Shopping Centre Car Park
Fort William Sat 18 March 10am - 4pm Morrisons Car Park
Fort Augustus Mon 20 March 10am - 12 Noon Car Park near Filling Station
Inverness Mon 20 March 3pm - 5pm Merkinch Community Centre
Beauly Tues 21 March 10am - 12 Noon Phipps Hall
Inverness Tues 21 March 3pm - 5pm Hilton Shops
Inverness Wed 22 March 10am - 12 Noon Morrisons Car Park
Inverness Wed 22 March 2pm - 4pm Tescos Metro Car Park
Ardersier Thur 23 March 10am - 12 Noon Rear of Village Hall
Smithton Thur 23 March 3pm - 5pm Smithton Hall Car Park