Midlothian Council launches housing strategy consultation
Midlothian Council is seeking feedback on its Local Housing Strategy 2021-2026 so it can be finalised and implemented in February 2021.
Virtual public meetings, open to all, will start next week as part of this consultation.
The strategy is a five-year plan for housing in the area. It is shaped by legislation, demand, key challenges and public feedback. Areas covered include homelessness, specialist housing provision, house condition and fuel poverty.
Midlothian residents are being asked to help prioritise the key challenges for housing services for the next five years.
Key challenges include:
- Supporting the delivery of social and market housing as well as specialist housing to ensure housing targets are achieved.
- The turnover of social rented housing is low in Midlothian compared to other areas. In order to meet the need for homeless accommodation a total of 446 lets would need to be available for homeless households. In 2019/20, 176 lets were available for homeless households.
- Midlothian’s population of over 75 year olds is expected to increase by 41% between 2018 and 2028, the second highest population increase in Scotland.
- Wheelchair Accessible Housing Targets to be set. Difficulty enforcing these within the private sector.
29.57% of Midlothian residents are in fuel poverty.
- The quality of housing varies between the private and social housing sectors in Midlothian, with a higher proportion of private housing requiring upgrade works.
The council is asking people to complete an online survey which will help to identify priorities for the next five years of Housing in Midlothian.
Paper copies of the survey can be sent out if requested by contacting Lesley Connell on phone or text at 07808 903454 or by email at email@example.com
Virtual housing chats have also been arranged for those who want to find out more about the draft Local Housing Strategy. Anyone wishing to attend should email firstname.lastname@example.org with their preferred session date and say whether you can use either Zoom or Microsoft Teams:
- Monday 7 December, 10am
- Tuesday 8 December, 11am
- Wednesday 9 December, 1pm
- Thursday 10 December, 12 noon
- Monday 14 December, 12:30pm
- Tuesday 15 December, 10am
- Wednesday 16 December, 11am
- Thursday 17 December, 1pm
Sessions will last for approximately one hour.
Councillor Stephen Curran, cabinet member for housing, said: “Earlier this year we asked for initial feedback on the Strategy from Midlothian residents through social media, an online survey and virtual meetings. We now need further feedback before the Strategy is finalised and implemented in February 2021.
“I would urge local people to get involved and have their say so the final Strategy document reflects their priorities. The virtual sessions will be really helpful for those wanting more information about the Strategy and consultation.”
The consultation period will be open until Friday 15 January 2021.