Thursday, August 02, 2018

Social housing in Nairn - should we insist on Council and developers building more accomodation for single people?

Regular readers will no doubt will have seen the articles concerning "affordable housing" here and here. There is also a remarkable ongoing conversation on Nairn Rocks facebook page where local people are showing tremendous interest in this issue and some quite interesting comments have been made. It all comes against the background of the impending site visit by the Highland Council Planning Committee to the highly controversial site on Lochloy road where Springfield wish to build a large number of houses on land owned by local Councillor Liz MacDonald. That visit will take place on Wednesday 8th of August at approximately 9.30 am and Lochloy residents are encouraging all those with concerns on local housing and planning matters to attend that site visit. 

Whilst reading the conversation on social media we came across an analysis of the numbers of  those on the local council house waiting list.  We made inquiries and the information on the facebook page comes from a River Community Council meeting back in January of this year. We went back and had a look at the minutes of that meeting and here's what we find interesting, it is Lochloy resident Loreine Thomson speaking to the meeting:

"Forres Road plans propose ‘affordable’ housing rather than social housing with no allocation for social rent from Highland Council mentioned, These ‘affordable’ houses are offered for sale by part purchase from Albyn Housing, and do not add to local ‘social housing’ stock in the long term. 

Also the mix of housing types proposed does not represent needs of the 305 Nairn households on current Highland Council housing waiting list. 20% of these are transfer requests( mostly downsizing) 235 (61%) seek a 1 bed house 24% a 2 bed house and only 10% 3 bedrooms. If the 29 affordable homes on offer by Albyn Housing at Forres Road reflected local demand, the mix would be 18x1 bed, 8x 2 bed ,and 3x3 bed. Instead it is 8x1 bed, 11x2 bed and 10x3 bed. The Highland Strategic Housing Investment Plan (SHIP) proposes only 31 social homes for Nairn out of a total build of 213 with none due before 2020 and the 2nd lowest allocation in Highland. LM also noted that Forres Road site is not in either of 2 Local Development Plans."

There we have it folks, it seems that 61% of folk on the housing waiting list just want a one bedroom home. It makes sense when you think about it, just how do you get started as a young person if you wish to move into your own home? There are suggestions too that more of us are chosing to lead a solitary life too. Should Highland Council be insisting that developers change their priorities. 

Also folks keep further up todate on this issue by reading the letters in this week's edition of the Nairnshire Telegraph. More on this social media thread too.