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Public invited to have their say on Highland's Housing strategy

14th March 2010

Members of The Highland Council's Housing and Social Work committee have welcomed the Council's Consultative Draft Local Housing Strategy for 2010 - 2015. At committee this week they agreed to a further and final consultation with stakeholders and the public over a six week period with a final update report and changes recommended to the strategy coming back to committee in May 2010.

Members were advised by the Council's Housing Strategy Officer, Hilary Parkey that this would be the Council's second local housing strategy since 2001 but that new guidance from the Scottish Government and COSLA expects local authorities to have a clearer focus on strategic outcomes in their plans that support their Single Outcome Agreement.

Ms Parkey explained that under current guidance the scope of the local housing strategies is broader than previously and that they now incorporate the Council's plans for addressing the prevention and alleviation of homelessness, meeting housing support needs and fuel poverty issues.

Highland's Housing Strategy proposes six main outcomes which the Council wants to achieve, these are that:

people are best able to live in suitable, and affordable housing, through increased supply in the best places and improved access routes to a wide range of housing choices.

owners and renters are able to live in sustainable, energy-efficient houses which are in good condition and, for renters well managed.

fewer households living in fuel poverty.

more people with community care needs successfully living at home independently.

fewer households experience homelessness through increased prevention and the delivery of responsive, effective services.

we have strong and support communities which have a long term future where people feel safe; where the impact of disadvantage is reduced and where public services are delivered well and provide value for money.

Chairman of the Council's Housing and Social Work Committee, Councillor Margaret Davidson commended the work carried out on the draft strategy and urged members where housing is a particular issue in their local Wards to ensure that their community participates in the consultation of the final draft. She said: "This draft consultative strategy is a really interesting read, it sets out the future direction that Council is going forward with for housing and I would urge anyone with an interest to make their views known."

The Consultative Draft Local Housing Strategy for 2010 - 2015 and feedback form are on the Council's website at .

Stakeholders and members of the public are required to submit their comments by 23 April 2010 to The Highland Council, Housing and Property Services, Glenurquhart Road, Inverness IV3 5NX or by email to housingandproperty[AT] For further information please contact: Hilary Parkey, Housing Strategy Officer on tel: 01463 702859.