Saturday, October 01, 2011

"Time for a Nairn Housing Association!"

This observer was in conversation with one of the usual suspects this week and we were talking about how it was difficult for young people to get mortgages etc. The conversation then turned to what sort of housing might go on Sandown should a developer be found and whether there would be any "affordable housing" and who would be allowed to live in any such "affordable" accommodation. "I think it is time for a Nairn Housing Association," said the usual suspect, worried that once again Nairn's young people (and some not so young) would find themselves way down the queue. It was summed up very well back in June by another Community Councillor, Graham Vine:

"“I’ve had great difficulty trying to get consistent stories out of Highland Council. One of the questions that we were asking is whether people in Nairn get priority and I got a sort of Civil Service answer. Yes people with a local connection, if you have got a lad with a new wife in the back bedroom of his mum & dad’s house with a baby they get priority but their priority is 30 points and somebody that has landed in Inverness and is homeless has a priority of 70 points. So somebody with no connection to Nairn has a much greater priority than a family in Nairn that is overcrowded in one back bedroom.” All that in a previous Gurn article, Affordable Housing in Nairn - who gets it?

We, as a community have to look urgently at how we can take back local control of who goes into council or other association accommodation in Nairn. Hopefully the existing usual suspects and any that join them after the November CC elections will pursue this matter and Highland Councillors too, instead of quoting the rules of the existing situation, will seek to bring about change that will benefit those in Nairnshire who need accommodation.


E.Maree said...

A Nairn Housing Association sounds interesting.
I'd love to mortgage a house, but the pair of us work full time while renting privately, and most schemes are heavily weighted towards those on benefits. (There's LIFT, but the "Open Market Shared Equity" scheme always seems to be closed).
All that's left is First Time Buyer mortgages, which require a 10% deposit... a lot of money on the average Nairn wage.

A big issue said...

The cheapest land is always going to be that chosen for any social housing projects, so I would imagine any areas outwith of Inverness.

Keeping Nairn housing exclusive is going to be impossible, and I wonder if these days you could setup a Nairn HA that had a local only criteria.

It's much needed and very worthy of more research

Referendum needed for an independent Nairn ASAP!

Graisg said...

If we work as a community perhaps we can come up with some ideas to help a few folk out Maree.
I know John Mackie of the Suburban CC has suggested that if houses are built on Sandown then the town should still on the land and use the rents to pay off the cost of building the houses. Obviously setting that kind of thing up wouldn't be simple but we need that kind of local control to move things forward to make sure young Nairn couples are not at the back of the queue.

Graisg said...

"Keeping Nairn housing exclusive is going to be impossible, and I wonder if these days you could setup a Nairn HA that had a local only criteria."

Private housing yes, but for social housing then why not? What is wrong with a community deciding who gets the houses? If folk arrive on the bus in Inverness to register as homeless in the aim of getting accommodation in Nairn or a similar Highland town then why not give them a bus ticket back to the last community they lived in?
I'm not saying we should abdicate all responsibility for taking a part of the wider burden - we could still help with a quota of genuine refugees from persecution etc.
This observer would like to hear our politicians talk about this! More say for Nairn in housing matters please. We used to have a housing department in Courthouse but like a lot of other things it's all in Inverness now.