Local housing strategy to be discussed by councillors

Members of Aberdeenshire Council’s Social Work and Housing Committee have been asked to approve the Local Housing Strategy 2012-2017 and will also consider a review of how the authority allocates housing to those on its waiting list.

The strategy outlines the important issues facing the council and its partners over the next five years across all housing tenures.

It deals with all aspects of housing and related issues, including affordable housing, homelessness, fuel poverty, private sector housing, housing for older people or those with a disability.

The strategy also covers minority ethnic communities, repairs and improvements to council housing, housing management and tenant participation.

Residents were provided with the opportunity to provide their views on the strategy and housing issues in the area during a recent consultation and through Aberdeenshire Council’s Area Committees.

The report to councillors included feedback from residents on the most important priorities for the housing strategy which asked that the council consider the provision of affordable housing and support for first time buyers.

Residents also asked for support for older and younger tenants, people with learning or physical disabilities as well as a call for a specific strategy around changes to housing benefit and under-occupancy as part of reforms to welfare.

Members of the committee received a separate report outlining plans to review the way the council allocates housing and which will incorporate planned changes to housing benefit around house size as well as previous recommendations.

All of the proposals will now be included in a consultation exercise, and if councillors agree to the review, will go before each of the six area committees.