Highland Council launches consultation on housing allocation policy
Highland Council and other Highland Housing Register social housing landlords have launched a consultation seeking feedback on the proposed changes to the way they allocate their houses and the way people access housing.
The Highland Housing Register Partnership is made up of Albyn Housing Society; Cairn Housing Association, Caledonia Housing Association, Lochaber Housing Association, Lochalsh & Skye Housing Association, Pentland Housing Association and the council.
They share a list and allocation policy. The policy is used to prioritise people’s applications and inform decisions on who is offered each available house. By law, they require to give the highest priority to people in particular circumstances.
The changes aim to make sure that they:
- Target people who are in urgent need of housing more fairly. This will avoid the need for them to apply as homeless or to remain in “at risk” situations
- Act lawfully in line with the Housing (Scotland) Act 2014 and
- Respond to the changing needs of Highland’s communities.
Currently, there are 9,000 households waiting for an offer of social rented housing. In some communities, applicants can get an offer fairly quickly. In others, housing is in short supply so it can be more difficult to meet demand. Each of the organisations also offers advice on the range of options – this is to help people to make realistic choices.
Councillor Ben Thompson, chair of the council’s Housing & Property Committee, said: “By getting involved in this consultation you can help make sure that the housing requirements of Highland communities are better met and priority is given to those who are in greatest need.
“Social housing providers often have to make difficult decisions when allocating housing because so many people lack suitable or affordable homes. It is important that allocation policies serve Highland needs as well as conforming to legal duties.
“The Highland Housing Register landlords would like to hear from as many people as possible for the widest range of views. Comments are invited from residents, partner organisations, the voluntary sector and anyone with an interest in housing. Your feedback will help shape future allocation policy.”
Engage Scotland is running the survey for the Highland Housing Partnership.
You can find more and give your views on the proposals by using this link.
If you have any questions about the consultation, need copies in large print or another format or language, or need any other help with the survey, please contact Engage Scotland on Freephone or email highland@engagescotland.
The consultation closes on November 30.