Caithness Map :: Links to Site Map Paying too much for broadband? Move to PlusNet broadband and save£££s. Free setup now available - terms apply. PlusNet broadband.  

 

Pioneering New House Building Model To Be Considered

30th July 2010

Highland Councillors are being asked to consider investigating the feasibility of a pioneering new model of providing much-needed affordable homes in the Highlands.

It could see a new build programme of 650 houses over a five year period.

The idea is for the Council to work with a private sector partner to release the equity currently tied up in its Council houses. As houses become vacant they would transfer to the private sector partner in return for a capital payment. The capital would be used to build new houses for let as Council tenancies.

A key point to note is that the Council would continue to allocate, manage and maintain the stock, based on agreed fees per unit to be paid to the council by the partner.

The transferred houses would be relet to applicants on the Highland Housing Register at rent levels pitched between the average council rent and private rents, currently estimated at 75 per week (charged over 52 weeks). The average council rent for the current financial year is 59.76 (over 52 weeks).

Properties would revert to Council ownership at nil cost after 25 years.

Councillor Margaret Davidson, Chairman of the Council's Housing and Social Work Committee, said: "This is an interesting proposition that has come forward from our Housing and Property management team, which allows the Council to release equity on the asset value of council housing becoming vacant to relet to generate funds for new council house building. We estimate this could number 650 over a five year period, The number could be significantly increased if the Scottish Government continues to provide subsidy for Council house building.

"The Housing and Social Work Committee will be asked to agree to undertake and fund a full feasibility assessment on the equity release model as a means to deliver additional affordable housing in the Highlands. We would work closely with the Scottish Government in developing the model.

"We would then come back to the Committee with a detailed business case."

She stressed that addressing the shortage of affordable housing in the Highlands is one of the Council's key priorities.

She added: "Strengthening the Highlands" has a target of 2,000 new affordable homes by 2011. We are on target to meet this commitment, but have identified ongoing high levels of demand for additional housing for rent beyond 2011. Successive Local Housing Strategies have identified the need for additional housing supply as the main strategic issue in relation to housing."

 

Related Businesses

 

Related Articles

31/10/2014
Highland Council calls on UK Government to reinstate adequate coastal protection
THE Highland Council is renewing its call upon the UK Government to reinstate adequate coastal protection measures for the Highlands and Islands.   Leader of the Council, Drew Hendry raised the matter at the Convention of the Highlands and Islands earlier this week, and asked for the support of the full council, strategic partners and the Island Councils, in asking the UK Government to reinstate an Emergency Towing Vessel in the Minches without further delay and to commit to extending the lease for the Emergency Towing Vessel based in Kirkwall.  
31/10/2014
Help prepare new development plan for Caithness and Sutherland's future
A major public consultation has now started to help prepare a new 20 year Local Development Plan for the Caithness and Sutherland area, to be known as CaSPlan.  The Main Issues Report which has now been published is the first formal stage of preparing the new CaSPlan.  
31/10/2014
More LED Street Lighting For Highland
Highland Council has agreed further investment in LED street lighting programme to cut carbon emissions and generate £35k per year.   The Highland Council has agreed further investment in LED street lighting programme to cut carbon emissions, reduce energy consumption and generate savings of £35k per year.  
28/10/2014
Highland Council launches phase two of Budget Consultation
The Highland Council has launched a consultation paper with detailed proposals for saving over £15 million towards a total budget cut of £64 million over the next five years.   The Council has already achieved over £77.7m of cuts, including some through efficiency savings over the past 5 years.  
27/10/2014
Councils join together to benefit from new network contractThumbnail for article : Councils join together to benefit from new network contract
Highland and Islands Councils have signed a multi-million pound contract on behalf of the Pathfinder North Partnership, led by The Highland Council, for the provision of Network Services starting in March 2016.   The deal is part of the Scottish Wide Area Network (SWAN) Framework agreement awarded to CAPITA in February 2014 and has a potential value of around £33m (over 7 years) across the five Partners for whom it is expected to generate significant cost savings.  
27/10/2014
New homes for the Highlands
Housing projects helping to support local construction sector and wider economy.   Finance Secretary John Swinney has announced a deal to deliver new affordable homes for rent in Inverness, providing a boost to the local construction sector and wider economy.  
27/10/2014
Working together to benefit the Highlands and Islands
The Highlands and Islands Convention was welcomed to the Merkinch Community Centre in Inverness today (Monday) by Councillor Drew Hendry, Leader of the Highland Council, who stressed the importance of ensuring a highly skilled workforce that would contribute to the continuing economic growth of the Highlands and Islands.  He also highlighted the need for partners to be working together to deliver good quality services to local communities and to sustain and enable those communities in the Highlands and Islands to flourish.  
27/10/2014
Trading Standards and Citizens Advice tackle private car parking problems
The Highland Council's Trading Standards Officers are backing local Citizens Advice Bureaux in their campaign to ensure that Highland consumers get a fair deal over private car parking.   Both agencies have seen an increase in consumer complaints about private parking in recent times, with a range of problems being encountered by motorists, as David MacKenzie, Team Leader at Highland Council Trading Standards explained: "Sometimes the problem is poor signage resulting in drivers being unaware of large penalty charges and the scale of such charges can also be controversial.  
22/10/2014
Caithness District Partnership Meeting Friday 31st October
The Caithness District Partnership next meets in Wick on Friday 31 October 2014 and the agenda will feature an update on the progress made in the implementation of a Family Team for Caithness.   The meeting will also feature updates from Bob Silverwood, the NHS Area for Caithness and Sutherland the Manager.of Scottish Ambulance Service will also deliver a presentation on Public Access Defibrillators.  
21/10/2014
Highland Council Leadership backs calls for fairer electricity charges in Highlands and Islands
The Leadership of Highland Council has turned up the heat on OFGEM and called for action against unfair surcharges which make electricity costs higher for consumers in the Highlands and Islands.   The Highland Council Administration is responding in support of action being taken by Comhairle nan Eilean Siar and will be writing to OFGEM to call for fairer energy charges in the Highlands and Islands.  

[Printer Friendly Version]