Council plan aims to tackle homelessness in Highland
6th December 2018
Members of The Highland Council's Care, Learning and Housing Committee have approved the first draft ‘Highland Rapid Rehousing Transition Plan' for 2019 - 2024 which will be submitted to the Scottish Government by the end of this year. The plan provides an analysis of homelessness in the region and the capacity to deliver rapid rehousing within the current patterns of housing need and demand.
Councillors have also agreed to use Scottish Government funding made available to the Council to appoint a temporary post in 2019 to lead on implementing the Plan.
Cllr John Finlayson, Vice Chair of the Care, learning and Housing Committee welcomed the moves forward, he said: "The reasons for homelessness can be both common and complex, but the Council is committed to tackling this with our Housing partners and the Third Sector.
"One of the challenges that we have in Highland in producing and delivering this plan is that as local authorities across Scotland prepare their own strategies for submission to the Scottish Government, a one-size-fits-all-approach does not fit well with Highland. General assumptions that homelessness pressures in one location can be diverted to another area where there are less pressures within a local authority area do not fit well in our region because of our geography and in many cases the need for access to specialist services. So while homelessness exists across the region the pressures are highest in Inverness due to demand for both homes and services to meet individuals’ needs."
‘Rapid Rehousing’ is described as: “a settled, mainstream housing outcome as quickly as possible; time spent in any form of temporary accommodation reduced to a minimum- with fewer transitions; and when temporary accommodation is needed, the optimum type is mainstream, furnished and within a community."
Local authorities have been asked by Scottish Government to set what actions in their plans they need to take to deliver rapid rehousing and the resources required to do so.
The Highland Council has today (Tuesday 11 December 2018) announced significant progress in the quality of collection and reporting on the performance of it's town centres through the release of new Town Centre Health Check "Story Maps". The maps contain a huge amount of data on many aspects.
A Highland Council employee, nominated by the tenants she works with, has scooped a national award. Lorna Simpson from Wick has been a Tenant Participation Officer with The Highland Council for the past ten years, covering Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross.
Highland Council's work to continuously improve Tenant Participation in the region has been recognised by the Scottish Housing Regulator and the Tenant Participation Advisory Service. Members of the Council's Care, Learning and Housing Committee have welcomed the recognition received by Housing Staff and commended their ongoing engagement activities.
Welfare staff within Highland Council's UK Award winning Benefits and Welfare Reform Team have decided to forego their office Secret Santa tradition and instead donate to Blythswood's Highland Foodbank this Christmas. Sheila McKandie, Highland Council's Benefits and Welfare Manager explained:"On a daily basis we work with the dedicated team at Blythswood Highland Foodbank directing people to them who are in urgent need.
The latest outlook for future housing delivery and school roll forecasts across Highland has been announced by the Highland Council today (Tuesday 4 December 2018). The joint publication of the Housing Land Audit and School Roll Forecast provides up to date forecasts for housing delivery and school rolls across the Highland Council area and will be used to monitor, implement and share details of the actions needed to support future housing growth.
Since the referendum decision to leave the European Union, The Highland Council has considered and made representations on a number of issues which have potential implications for the Highland economy and Highland communities. EU funding has brought hundreds of millions of pounds of assistance to the region over the past 40 years which has been critical to the region's growth.
Last week's Resources Committee noted the positive movement in the Council's revenue budget from a projected year end overspend in quarter one of £5m down to £2.2 in quarter two. This has been assisted by concerted effort across services and enhanced control of vacancies and all expenditure.
Cllr Margaret Davidson, Leader of the Highland Council will be meeting with Scottish Government Ministers in Parliament today, 29 November 2018 to discuss a number of issues of importance to the Highlands. In the morning she will be meeting with Paul Wheelhouse MSP, Minister for Energy, Connectivity and the Islands to discuss community benefit, and digital connectivity in the Highlands.
Following the announcement on 28 November 2018 by Thai Union that they will close at the end of the year their Edinburgh Salmon plant in Dingwall, a multi-agency response to support the staff has commenced. Known as the PACE initiative (Partnership for Continuing Employment) The Highland Council, together with local public sector agencies provide free, impartial advice to staff on dealing with the practical and emotional sides of redundancy, including support to get a new job.
A proposed objection to a massive Moray Firth wind project by Highland Council did not take place as planned. Highland council planning officers had intimated that the council would lay an objection to the north planning applications committee and it was stated in the papers the week before but the objection was not put.
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