Committee reaffirms commitment to providing affordable homes
View of new homes at Upper Achintore in Fort William.
The Highland Council remains on track to deliver much-needed affordable homes across the Highlands as recent figures produced show all new home completions in Highland are on the up.
In its Strategic Housing Plan 2018-2023 the Council has a pledge to approve a minimum of 500 units each year of which 70% will be for affordable rent and 30% for low cost home ownership.
The Scottish Government announced in 2016 that they were going to invest £3billion to deliver 50,000 new affordable units over a five year period. The Highland Council area’s share of this investment for 2018/19 is £40.100 million.
Members of the Environment, Development and Infrastructure Committee today (Wednesday 17 May) had the opportunity to discuss and agree the 2018/19 indicative affordable housing programme and reaffirm the council’s commitment to deliver 2,500 new affordable homes across the Highlands between 2016 and 2021.
In order to meet these targets council officers work closely with a range of partners to drive forward delivery, in particular the Highland Housing Development HUB which includes housing association partners and the Scottish Government who meet regularly to monitor the investment programme and agree site priorities. The HUB’s indicative programme for 2018/19, which was approved today by members of the committee, includes the building of 1,390 affordable homes.
Chair of the Committee, Councillor Allan Henderson said: “Housing is and will remain a priority for the Council. There is no doubt that over 1,000 homes within a year, double our target, is a very ambitious goal but I am confident that it will be reached thanks to the effective and productive partnership approach we have developed with the Scottish Government, Housing Associations and the private sector.”
“Not only is this significant investment helping to support jobs in the building industry, but it is also providing people and families with access to good quality, affordable homes where they can be safe and warm.
“Council staff will continue to bring forward sites we own for re-development and work with the private sector to unlock the constraints for other strategic sites throughout the Highlands, using or own Landbank Fund, the Scottish Government Infrastructure Loan Fund and any other opportunities that become available.”
Figures produced by the Council’s Planning Service show that the number of all new homes built in the last decade in Highland are on the rise. Between 2007 and 2017 a total of 10403 new homes were completed.Last calendar year 881 new homes were completed, a 13.5% rise compared to 2016. These figures are produced through analysis of accepted Completion Certificates and Temporary Occupation Certificates.
There has been significant increases in annual completions when compared with recent years, in Fort William, Eilean a’ Cheò and the Black Isle.
The Council has produced a summary document detailing annual totals of house completions from 2008 to the end of 2017. This summary report and access to a downloadable report containing monthly housing completions to the end of March 2018 is available through the Housing Land Information web page: https://www.highland.gov.uk/info/205/planning_-_policies_advice_and_service_levels/556/housing_land_information/1