Ukrainian families move into reinstated North Lanarkshire tower blocks
Families from Ukraine have moved into two tower blocks following an intensive reinstatement programme by North Lanarkshire Council.
Council leader Councillor Jim Logue and Neil Gray, minister with special responsibility for refugees from Ukraine, visited High Coats tower in Coatbridge to see the progress made to properties on site.
The council has refurbished 187 properties to a high standard on a temporary basis (59 in Birkshaw Tower in Gowkthrapple and 128 in High Coats Tower in Coatbridge) to assist families who have arrived in Scotland to escape the war against Ukraine.
Leader of the council, Councillor Jim Logue, said: “We have been able to repurpose the two empty towers and refurbish them to a high standard, with the movement of families to Birkshaw tower almost complete and others moving into High Coats over the coming weeks.
“It has been wonderful to hear personal stories from families who have moved to the area and have already integrated well with local communities. In partnership with the Scottish Government, we have demonstrated that this type of model can be successfully set up to assist people fleeing unimaginable horror and I’m sure could be replicated in other areas in Scotland.”
Minister with special responsibility for refugees from Ukraine, Neil Gray, added: “The Scottish Government has provided £5 million of funding to bring these properties back into use as much needed longer-term accommodation for people who have had to flee the war against Ukraine. I’m pleased to see the quality of the renovation works and look forward to people settling into these additional homes and the local community.
“I am grateful to North Lanarkshire Council for all the work they have put in to make these properties a home for displaced people from Ukraine. The success of this pilot project led to the creation of the Ukraine Longer Term Resettlement Fund supported by up to £50 million from the Scottish Government, which allows local authorities and registered social landlords to apply for funding to bring void properties back into use.”
The council’s resettlement team has been working with families to help them integrate with local communities, including setting up English language classes, providing employability support and practical assistance with living in North Lanarkshire.