Highland Council sets goals to tackle 10-year housing challenge

Highland Council has set strategic objectives to tackle the Highland Housing Challenge head-on, with the aim of finding innovative solutions to address the pressing need for housing in the region over the next decade.

The daunting task at hand involves the construction of 24,000 new houses in Highland within the next ten years, a figure that is double the usual number of houses built in the area. This increased demand for housing is driven by an updated ten-year Housing Needs Demand Assessment, which takes into account economic projections linked to the development of the Inverness and Cromarty Firth Green Free Port.

Although Highland Council and its partners are making progress towards meeting this ambitious housing target, they are currently on track to achieve it over a 20-year period. To expedite this process, an additional investment of approximately £2.8 billion will be required.

One avenue for addressing the future housing supply challenge is through the benefits derived from the Social Value Charter from Renewables, as well as from the potential future retained business rates associated with the Green Free Port.

To delve deeper into the Housing Challenge and explore viable solutions, a summit will be held with key partners. This summit will be crucial in shaping the Housing Challenge Action Plan, which will encompass a range of objectives such as securing finance from various sources, exploring diverse mechanisms for building new housing, embracing flexibility in housing ownership, and identifying innovative approaches to maximize land supply.

Bill Lobban, the Convener, stressed the importance of affordable housing as a priority for the council, reflecting the concerns raised by communities across the Highlands. He highlighted the positive socio-economic impact of increased housing provision, including boosting the construction sector, revitalizing town centres, and reversing the trend of depopulation in certain areas. Additionally, he emphasized the long-term economic benefits, such as savings on housing benefits, reduced homelessness, higher employment rates, and improved overall health outcomes.

Raymond Bremner, the Leader of the council, has taken proactive steps by reaching out to the government to address the issue of the council’s Housing Revenue Account historic debt. He highlighted the significance of potential debt write-offs in unlocking crucial investments that can be channelled towards ramping up the supply of affordable new build housing to meet the growing needs of local communities.

The comprehensive report detailing the Highland Housing Challenge and the strategic objectives set by the council can be accessed here.

Share this:

Similar Posts