Views sought on Orkney housing advice and information strategy

Orkney CouncilOrkney Islands Council’s Housing Service is seeking public views on its Advice and Information Strategy which underpins how the council and a range of partner agencies provide housing advice to service users.

The strategy looks at the accessibility of written information, the standard of this information, publicity of services, joint working with other agencies, provision of legal advice and service user involvement.

A key principle of the strategy is how good quality advice and information can help to prevent homelessness by ensuring that people are aware of all the options available to them.

In 2015/2016 there were 97 homeless applications to Orkney Islands Council.

Councillor Harvey Johnston, chair of the council’s education, leisure and housing committee, said: “As well as directly assisting those accessing our services, good quality housing advice and information can fulfil a wider educational role. In Orkney, as in other rural areas, homelessness is often hidden. We seek to raise awareness and understanding that homelessness is a reality locally.

“We see this strategy as an opportunity to provide information to our communities whilst helping to build a culture of understanding and informed debate on the true extent of homelessness and associated issues.”

This is the third time this strategy has been updated and has been produced alongside a number of partner agencies.

Frances Troup, the council’s head of housing, homelessness and school care accommodation, said: “The importance of up to date and accessible advice and information of a high quality remains a key objective of the council and we recognise the role it can play in addressing housing crises and preventing homelessness.

“We would be very interested in local views on the strategy.”

The draft strategy can be viewed here and hard copies are available on request.

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