Five year Draft Strategic Housing Plan approved

The Highland Council’s Economy and Infrastructure Committee has approved a draft Strategic Housing Plan for 2021-2026 that sets out The Council’s key housing investment priorities and demonstrates how they will be delivered for development across Highland.

The Plan, which will  be submitted to the Scottish Government for their approval, also identifies the  resources required to deliver new homes and outlines the partnership approach with housing associations and developers to achieve the Council’s commitment to providing more quality affordable housing across the Highlands.

The Plan sets out how investment in affordable housing will be directed up until 2026 with up to 500 new homes built each year, of which 70% will be for affordable rent and 30% for intermediate affordable housing (e.g. low-cost home ownership or mid-market rent)

Funding  will come from a mix of City Region Deal cash,  Highland Council  prudential borrowing and grants from the Scottish Government.

Chair of the Committee, Councillor Trish Robertson said: “Our investment in housing is helping to support jobs in the building industry and also providing people and families with access to good quality, affordable homes where they can be safe and warm. I am pleased that the Committee have approved this draft strategic plan as we need a clear and workable way to see our ambitions turn into reality over the next five years.

“Housing is and will remain a priority for the Council. The Plan lays out our go-getting goal and I am confident that over the next five years we will reach the target thanks to the effective and productive partnership approach we have developed with the Scottish Government, Housing Associations and the private sector.”

She added: “In our wider enabling role, we will continue to work to bringing 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 funding  opportunities that become available.”

The next item on the agenda was relevant to the creation of more affordable homes as the Committee gave their support  to officers continue work to secure a compulsory purchase order for the derelict Struan Hotel in Carrbridge under Sections 9 and 10 of the Housing (Scotland) Act, with the aim of developing the land into affordable housing for the benefit of the community.

The Head of Development and Regeneration will report back to committee should there be a problem with the CPO moving forward.

4 Nov 2020