North Lanarkshire Council unveils five-year Local Housing Strategy plan

By Ian Bunting

North Lanarkshire Council (NLC) has unveiled its vision for properties and housing services as part of a new five-year plan.

The project aims to deliver on the local authority's ambitions to "transform and regenerate communities, reduce inequality and disadvantage and create opportunities for people across North Lanarkshire to achieve their full potential".

The Local Housing Strategy (LHS) for 2021-26, sets out NLC's future plans for the service in key areas, including housing delivery, homelessness, property condition, energy efficiency, fuel poverty, health and wellbeing and older people’s and specialist housing.

To produce a "meaningful plan", the council carried out a range of consultation which focused on early engagement to help ensure local people, communities and wider stakeholders could share their views.

As this progressed, views were sought on the emerging key housing issues and challenges identified across strategic areas, ensuring priorities, actions and outcomes contained within our LHS reflected local need.

The key actions in the plan link to NLC's overall vision to "make North Lanarkshire the place to live through the provision of high-quality housing and support in sustainable communities, that enables people to thrive and prosper".

Convener of housing and regeneration, Councillor Heather Brannan-McVey, told Lanarkshire Live : “I’m proud of the real progress we’ve made in delivering key actions to date and committed to building on this and bringing real change and improvements to people’s lives and our communities.

“Our five-year plan shows how we will do this. For example, we’re determined to reduce inequality and improve living conditions for our tenants by tackling fuel poverty and are rolling out a range of energy efficiency measures to our existing stock.

"We’re also incorporating the latest eco-friendly technology in our new build homes to help reach our net zero targets and reduce tenants’ bills.

“We aim to continue to prevent and reduce homelessness by providing support to help tenants remain in their homes. Millions of pounds of investment is being made as we build more new, affordable council homes, progress our tower reprovisioning plans and work with our partners to increase available housing supply.

“However, it’s been a year like no other and, if anything, has highlighted the importance of our homes and places in improving the health and wellbeing of our residents.

"We also face some challenges including demographic change, welfare reform, tackling homelessness and climate change, amongst others while we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

"This strategy recognises the vital role that housing has in North Lanarkshire’s social and economic recovery and sets out how the council and its partners will meet the key housing challenges over the next five years.

“Our LHS for North Lanarkshire is already delivering benefits and changing the face of towns and communities and is playing a key part in the council’s vision to make North Lanarkshire the place to live, learn, work, invest and visit.”

Councillor Brannan-McVey added: “We are extremely grateful to our housing co-production group for its continued involvement and commitment to developing and influencing housing strategy to benefit people and communities and to North Lanarkshire Federation, all our tenants, residents and stakeholders involved in this journey.”

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