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.
Tighter controls on what can be taken to the public recycling centres are set to save £300,000 over the next two financial years. This proposal introduces restrictions on construction and demolition waste brought to our Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRC), limiting quantities to small amounts generated through minor DIY activities.
The main activities that the social enterprise groups currently carry out directly for Highland Council waste management are the servicing of re-use containers on our household waste recycling centres (HWRCs). These currently divert around 150 tonnes from 11 HWRCs.
Newstart Highland that took over Home Aid in Caithness is set to lose a £75,000 grant from 2019/20. The Highland council agreed the reduction at its budget meeting on 14th February 2019.
Planning and building warrant income is to be increased over 3 years as part of the Highland council 3 year budget plan. 2019/20 - £600,000 2020/21 - £328,000 2021/22 - £182,000 Total - £110,000,000 The current income target for planning and building control fees is £4.867m.
Savings of £610,000 are being asked from Highland Highlife in addition to inflationary pressures of £900,000 to be absorbed by the organisation. The arms length organisation has proved to be an outstanding success in the few years since it was floated by the council.
Highland councillors reluctantly agreed to range of increase charges under the community services part of the budget. Many of the charges reflect inflationary increases The total of £2.063 million will be rolled out as follows - 2019/20 - £771,000 2020/21 - £.636,000 2021/22 - £656,000 The split is as follows - Export licences for fish were included in the above figures but a change was agreed at the meeting that should make the saving in total.
Additional Income projected £216k of is projected for thenext three years - 2019/20 - £118,000 2020/21 - £58,000 2021/22 - £40,000 Through a proactive approach to lease extensions (with premiums) and increases in rental income the council will seek to maximise the performance of the industrial and investment portfolio, including selling off poor performing industrial sites and focusing investment on high performing, high rental sites and properties. Net income £2.776m - excludes income for the Housing Revenue Account and Inverness Common Good Fund.
The Highland council agrred to slash £258,000 from the budget for Early Years organisations for 2019/20 The current budget for Early Years' Grants is £458k per annum. This is primarily an area-based budget where partners are able to apply for funding for one-off grants.
Councillors today 14th February 2019 agreed to increase the price of school meals despite some councillors pointing out that previous increase last year resulted in reduced number taking the meals. Councillors have little room to help as they did in the past to basically subsidise meals.
Highland council agreed today 14th February 2019 to save £150,000 over the next two years in the complicated area of waste haulage contracts. What may seem like a simple hing to deal with is not an easy subject to easy with effectively as it affects every home an business in Highland.
[Printer Friendly Version]