By Bill Heaney
Argyll and Bute’s Local Housing Strategy (LHS), outlining the council’s vision and investment priorities for the area’s housing sector, has been submitted to the Scottish Government for ministerial approval.
The five-year strategy sets out the joint approach the Council and its partners will take to delivering high quality housing and housing-related services across Argyll and Bute.
Unlike West Dunbartonshire Council, which recently sold a town centre site in Alexandria, for 35 private homes, a key focus of Argyll and Bute is to highlight the contribution which housing can make to support the health and social care agenda by delivering housing which caters directly to the needs of the community.
The main aims of the Argyll strategy – the area incluides Cardross, Helensburgh and the Rosneath Peninsula – are to:
- Provide access for people to sufficient, suitable and affordable housing
- Regenerate communities by improving the quality, condition and energy efficiency of housing and by tackling fuel poverty
- Enable people with particular needs to live independently in their own homes and to remain in their communities
- Promote housing options which meet people’s needs and ensure everyone has access to appropriate information, advice and assistance
The LHS is overseen by the Argyll and Bute Strategic Housing Forum, a partnership which brings together housing experts and key professionals. The Forum meets quarterly and partners include the Scottish Government, local and national housing associations, the Health and Social Care Partnership, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Home Energy Scotland and Scottish Water.
Council Leader Robin Currie, pictured right, said: “This strategy builds on the very positive achievements of the previous LHS over the last five years. Housing is fundamental to the health and well-being of our local communities and its quality has an impact on all residents of Argyll and Bute.
“However, we must recognise the significant challenges we face in the years ahead as we emerge from the impact of the global pandemic and the uncertain economic future that has created.
“It is also important to recognise the contribution and support we have received in preparing the strategy from a wide range of partners and stakeholders, as well as invaluable consultation with our local communities. The results reflect the diverse views and priorities of the people of Argyll and Bute and have helped to inform our strategic vision and priorities for investment over the next five years.”