Arran Housing Task Force created by North Ayrshire Council

Arran Housing Task Force created by North Ayrshire Council

A special task force has been launched aimed at finding long-term solutions to Arran’s housing challenges.

North Ayrshire Council has established the Arran Housing Task Force which will involve a wide range of partners to address the issues which face island residents and businesses.

The taskforce aims to assess the demand for affordable housing on Arran and identify issues that may be limiting economic sustainability and growth.

Working in partnership with the Scottish Government, local community groups and Registered Social Landlords who operate on the island, the task force will be the recognised body that will work collaboratively on issues relating to housing on Arran.

The Group has met on two occasions so far and is about to appoint consultants who will carry out a piece of work to identify the true level of housing need on the island. This will focus on affordable and rented accommodation but will not be restricted to that and aims to produce a holistic solution which also looks at the release of land for new build and private housing as well.

Councillor Alan Hill, Cabinet Member for Communities and Islands at North Ayrshire Council, will chair the taskforce. He said: “We know the problems faced by our island communities, particularly the high demand for affordable housing.

“Indeed, the work which is being carried out through our recently-published Islands Plan highlighted once again the urgent need to address the issue of housing on Arran.

“This is an exciting piece of work which we will use to feed into work being carried out by the Scottish Government with an aim to share best practice on housing across our island communities.

“There have long been issues on the island with local businesses unable to find housing for their workforce. It’s vital for the island’s economic fortunes that we have affordable housing in place which allows for the retention and attraction of a working-age population.

“Although we recently completed 34 new council homes at Brathwic Terrace, we know that further action is required and the taskforce will be focused on finding solutions to these issues. We are also delighted to continue to work with and support Arran Development Trust and others who are seeking to deliver their own housing projects on the island.”

The council has already started work on formally assessing the demand for affordable housing across the island, with the outcome expected to be considered by the Task Force during the summer. Meanwhile, an action plan will be developed to investigate innovative funding solutions and construction options for island housing.

The review will consider affordable housing in all forms, including, but not limited to, social housing, private rented sector, shared equity and shared ownership. Input from local people is crucial and we will be using the local press and social media to ensure that everyone on the island has an opportunity to feed into the process.

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