Aberdeen’s draft Local Housing Strategy consultation

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Aberdeen residents are being asked to offer their views on a draft document which maps out housing needs and investment in the city over the next five years.

The draft Aberdeen Local Housing Strategy 2012-2017 has already undergone extensive consultation with elected members and community groups and now it is the public’s chance to have their say.

Aberdeen City Council has a statutory duty under the Housing (Scotland) Act 2011 to prepare a Local Housing Strategy to cover a five-year period.

The 2012-2017 strategy takes into consideration the council’s Five Year Business Plan which was adopted in August 2011 and has the following objectives:

To provide for the needs of the most vulnerable people;

  • Encourage the building of new affordable housing;
  • Ensure a sustainable economic future for the city;
  • Ensure efficient and effective delivery of services;
  • Help ensure that all schoolchildren reach their potential;
  • Manage our waste better and increase recycling.

Of these six objectives, the Local Housing Strategy will contribute directly to the first four and to the last two indirectly. The council’s Housing and Environment directorate’s own Five Year Business Plan takes the objectives of the council’s Business Plan down to service level and produces its own objectives.

Following consultation already carried out and analysis of the above information a range of broad themes and issues emerged, including:

  • Ensure housing contributes to the economic development of the city;
  • Increase housing supply to meet housing need and demand;
  • Improve housing conditions in the public housing sector;
  • Ensure continued supply and access to affordable housing;
  • Continue to provide information and advice to improve housing conditions in the private housing sector;
  • Develop a framework for a Regeneration Strategy for the city;
  • Ensure there is a supply of particular needs housing of the right type to meet future requirements;
  • improve energy efficiency in both the public and private housing sectors and alleviate fuel poverty.

From these themes a range of outcomes have been developed. These include:

  • Meet the housing requirement of 31,500 new houses by 2035;
  • Meet the annual need for 415 affordable houses in the next 10 years;
  • Ensure affordable housing policy of 25% developer contribution for affordable housing on all sites over five units is applied where viable;
  • Improve housing conditions in the private sector;
  • Ensure Aberdeen City Council achieves the homeless target set by the Scottish Government by 2012;
  • Increase the supply of affordable housing by the local authority;
  • Provide assistance to first time buyers;
  • Provision of suitable housing stock to meet an increasing elderly population and those with physical and learning disabilities;
  • Ensure accommodation needs of gypsies/travellers are met;
  • Improve energy efficiency of housing;
  • Alleviate fuel poverty;
  • Reduce carbon emissions from housing in the city.

The outcomes will be implemented by Aberdeen City Council and its partners over the next five years to ensure the future supply of housing and affordable housing, improvements to housing services and to housing conditions in the city.

Aberdeen City Council Director of Housing and Environment, Pete Leonard said: “The draft Local Housing Strategy sets out the priorities and actions under eight key themes and covers a wide range of housing and related issues. It is built on the strong foundation provided by the council’s first Local Housing Strategy and has been developed through extensive research and consultation to identify the housing needs and aspiration of the people of Aberdeen.

“Consultation has taken place with a range of stakeholders during the various stages of the development process. The comments and contributions made have been invaluable in preparing the strategy. We hope that as many people as possible take this further opportunity to comment on the direction we propose for the future of housing in Aberdeen.”

The full draft strategy and supporting documents can be viewed at:

http://www.aberdeencity.gov.uk/housing/council_housing/hoa_Local_Housing_Strategy.asp

Residents who would like to offer their views on the strategy should do so by 16 March 2012 by e-mailing the council’s Local Housing Strategy Officer Les McGonigle on lmcgonigle@aberdeencity.gov.uk

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