£10 Million For Affordable Housing In Highland
24th June 2017
A £10 million fund to build affordable homes across the Highlands has been announced by Housing Minister Kevin Stewart today (23rd June).
The Highland Infrastructure Fund is a partnership with The Highland Council and will support and accelerate the delivery of affordable housing across the region.
The government will provide £9 million of the fund with the council providing the additional £1 million.
It will allow the council to provide support in the form of either an infrastructure grant or loan to facilitate housing sites to move forward to construction.
The fund is part of the Inverness and Highland City Region Deal which also includes plans to improve transport networks, digital connectivity and the creation of a hub to encourage innovation of high growth businesses.
Mr Stewart said the fund will support the government's ambitious commitment of delivering 50,000 affordable homes, including 35,000 for social rent by 2021.
He said:"Increasing the supply of affordable homes is a key commitment and vital to our ambition of tackling poverty and inequality in our society.
"Recent figures show encouraging signs of activity within the sector as a whole and we want to keep that momentum going through continued investment.
“This fund will support the delivery of new housing in the Highlands and means
the council can plan for new affordable homes now.
“It's a great example of how partnership working can deliver good quality homes in rural areas that suit the needs of local people, allowing them to remain within their communities."
Leader of the Council, Margaret Davidson said:“Availability of affordable housing is fundamentally important to the sustainability of communities in the Highlands. The Highland Council is committed, with our partners, through the City-Region Deal, to provide quality affordable homes which will help to retain a young and vibrant workforce and give our young people the best possible opportunities."
Inverness will benefit from Scottish Government investment into the city’s infrastructure, following the award of a City Deal in March 2016. This £10 million fund is part of that City-Region Deal and reflects the strong partnership working between the Council and the Scottish Government, that has also seen the creation of the Highland Housing Hub.
New statistics show a level of activity in the affordable house-building sector in Scotland, not seen since the early 1980s, with 10,276 affordable homes approved in 2016/17 - a 29% increase on the year before.
More than £1.75 billion is being allocated to councils across Scotland to stimulate investment in affordable housing.
A full breakdown of each Local Authorities Long term Resource Planning Assumptions are available on the Scottish Government website.
Close to 100 professionals met yesterday for what is one of the largest Career Long Professional Learning (CLPL) events of its kind in the country that specifically targets Gaelic Education staff. The event took place in Merkinch Community Centre, Inverness for Highland Council's annual Gaelic Education In-Service.
The safety of children walking and cycling to and from school and traffic calming measures in Wick were under the spotlight at yesterdays meeting of the Caithness Committee (Wednesday 21 February 2018). Local Councillors have given the go-ahead for proposals to introduce a 20mph speed limit and traffic calming measures across Wick designed to get motorists to slow down when driving around the town.
The Highland Council has agreed to use City-Region Deal funding to part fund new mid-market housing projects throughout the Highlands. The affordable housing projects will be developed by Albyn Housing Society and Highland Housing Alliance in Ullapool, Fort William, Alness, Inverness, Aviemore, Grantown, Drumnadrochit and Newtonmore and will deliver 61 new homes targeted at young people working in the area.
The Highland Council is set to make it easier for the public to report incidents of fly tipping and be advised when action is taken. As part of an evaluation of its street cleaning service an in-depth LEAN review of how the council deals with fly tipping has been carried out to look at ways of improving responsiveness and customer satisfaction.
Highland Councillors agreed a council tax increase of 3% which will mean an increase of £35.93 per annum on a Band D property. Overall, the budget gap of £15,146 million has been met by a package of savings which includes increasing Council Tax income by £3.448 million, increasing income by £3,059 million, setting a target of £2,250 million to be saved through Redesign and reducing expenditure by £5.1 million.
Redesign is about the Council being more open-minded to new ways of delivering services, more commercially-minded to raise income to support services and jobs across the region and being more community-minded, listening locally and supporting more community-run services. The Highland Council is seeking to release over £2.2 million in savings this year through redesign projects.
An election will take place for Dunnet and Canisbay Community Council on Wednesday 21 February 2018. The maximum permitted membership for the Community Council is 7 and as 8 nominations have been received, the 1349 electors in the community council area are being invited to cast their vote via a postal ballot.
Over three thousand people visited Inverness Town House last weekend to see for themselves the completion of interior works on the public historic Grade A listed building following recent renovations. Around 2,000 visitors passed through the Town House doors on Saturday 10th and another 1,200 people on Sunday 11th February.
Nomination packs for prospective candidates for the Caol and Mallaig Ward by-election are now available from The Highland Council's website. The by-election is being held following the sad death of Councillor Billy MacLachlan who was one of three Councillors representing Ward 11.
Maps of the Council's gritting routes by priority and policy are available online at www.highland.gov.uk/gritting The information provided is a summary of reports from operational staff and is intended to give a general indication of typical conditions in each area at a point in time. It is not intended to imply that any individual route is entirely snow and ice free and drivers must be aware that conditions can change rapidly and make their own assessment of conditions for travelling.
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