Housing policies and strategies

 

 

Housing

Local housing strategy 2012 to 2017

Councils are legally required to carry out a comprehensive assessment of housing need and demand, including housing conditions, and to produce a Local Housing Strategy to tackle the challenges in their area.

Our Local Housing strategy 2012 to 2017 for Aberdeenshire, and associated documents, are available to download:

The Aberdeenshire Local Housing Strategy Annual Report 2015 - 2016 is now available to view:

Our annual Local Housing Strategy newsletter details the progress of this strategy:

 

Housing needs and demand assessment

The Scottish government issued guidance on housing need and demand assessment. It sets out the framework that local authorities should follow to develop a good understanding of how housing markets operate.

This housing needs and demand assessment will influence affordable housing policies and the allocation of suitable available land. The assessment will also help the local housing strategy to identify what we need to do to meet our housing need and demand requirements, now and in the future. It will help us to work out the best way of delivering the strategic outcomes.

The housing needs and demand assessment will be reviewed every five years, along with the local housing strategy and local development plan.

The Aberdeen City and Shire Housing Need and Demand Assessment (HNDA) was updated in March 2011 and was appraised to be "robust and credible" by the Scottish Government's Centre of Housing Market Analysis in June 2011.

This replaces the previous Housing Need and Demand Assessment 2010. Further information is available on the Aberdeen City and Shire Strategic Planning Authority website.

 

Scottish housing quality standard delivery plan

The Scottish Housing Quality Standard (SHQS) is a national standard which decides what is acceptable, modern and good quality housing.

To meet the standard a house must be:

  • meet the Tolerable Standard (a very basic standard of acceptability)
  • free from serious disrepair
  • energy efficient
  • fitted with modern facilities and services
  • healthy, safe and secure

 

Local authorities and registered social landlords need to produce standard delivery plans to show how their stock will meet the standard by 2015.

 

Housing (Scotland) Act 2014

The Housing (Scotland) Act 2014 introduced a number of changes, including an end to Right to Buy, and changes to the way social housing is allocated. The Scottish Government has produced a guide for tenants, which can be accessed here:

Housing (Scotland) Act 2014 - A Guide for Tenants (pdf, 339kb)

 

Scottish social housing charter

The Scottish Social Housing Charter sets the standards and outcomes that all social landlords should aim to achieve when performing their housing activities. The Charter will help to improve the quality and value of services that social landlords provide.

 

Housing allocation policy

The Housing Allocations policy governs the way applicants for council housing are assessed and prioritised in terms of their housing need and how houses are allocated. Housing need is assessed to determine placing on the waiting list.

 

Annual report to tenants

All social landlords now report their performance annually to the Scottish Housing Regulator. One of the main aims is to make sure that tenants are at the core of all housing services provided by the council. Tenants can compare a landlord’s performance and hold landlords to account for their service delivery. Landlords are expected to share best practise, and learn from each other, to improve the service that tenants get.

Our first Annual Report to tenants tells you about the council’s Housing Service performance:

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Private housing

Private sector housing strategic outcome statement

Our Private Sector Housing strategic outcome statement and action plan details how we aim to improve the quality of private sector housing. Private sector housing includes owner occupiers and the private rented sector.

The private sector housing strategic outcome statement aims to improve the quality of private sector housing by 350 properties per year to meet the Scottish Housing Quality Standard:

 

Scheme of assistance

We have produced a scheme of assistance for private homeowners and tenants of private sector landlords. Section 72 of the Housing (Scotland) Act 2006 requires all local authorities to produce a scheme of assistance for private homeowners and tenants. It sets out the circumstances in which we will provide information, advice, and practical support and, in some circumstances, financial assistance to private homeowners to help them repair, maintain, improve or adapt their homes.

For more information please contact our private housing team on 01467 534853.

 

Below tolerable standard policy

The Below Tolerable Standard policy aims to reduce the number of houses that are below the Tolerable Standard and prevent more houses from falling below this standard. It encourages homeowners to repair, maintain and improve their homes through our Scheme of Assistance.

 

Housing renewal area policy

The Housing Renewal Area policy aims to reduce the number of individual houses that are sub-standard and prevent more houses from becoming sub-standard. It encourages homeowners to repair, maintain and improve their homes through the our Scheme of Assistance, so negating the need to designate an Housing Renewal Area.

 

Equity loans policy

The Equity Loans policy aims to provide equity loans to homeowners who do not have the ability to access funds, or cannot afford to repay commercial finance to pay for repairs, maintenance or adaptations to their homes.

 

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Housing for particular needs

Housing for particular needs strategic outcome statement

The Particular Needs outcome statement details how we aim to make sure people with an identified particular need, such as older people or those with a disability, have improved access to appropriate affordable housing in Aberdeenshire and support to live as independently as possible.

 

 

Housing options

Affordable housing strategic outcome statement

We are committed to the provision of quality affordable housing to meet a wide range of needs. Work is currently in progress to produce an Affordable Housing strategic outcome statement and action plan. These will detail the actions necessary to increase the supply of affordable housing across all tenures to reduce the number of households in housing need and sustain existing communities.

 

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Energy efficiency

Fuel poverty strategic outcome statement

The Fuel Poverty strategic outcome statement and action plan aim to eradicate fuel poverty for all properties, as far as is reasonably practicable, by 2016. Fuel poverty will be decreased by 5% each year across all tenures. This strategic outcome statement demonstrates our commitment to eradicating fuel poverty.

 

Energy efficiency commitment

The Aberdeenshire Energy Efficiency Commitment was developed as a point of reference and a basis for improving energy efficiency of our housing stock. This document demonstrates our commitment to improve energy efficiency of our housing stock and increase awareness of these issues, so far as practical, by 2015 and beyond.

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Neighbourhood issues

Estate management policy statement

The aim of our Estate Management policy is to provide all tenants with an attractive, clean and safe environment in which to live and so help to sustain communities.

 

Eviction (conduct grounds) policy statement

This policy details our aims and objectives for tenants whose conduct breaches the conditions of tenancy under the Scottish secure tenancy section 3 - respect for others.

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Repairs and maintenance

Stock management policy statement

The aim of our Stock Management policy is to make sure our good quality housing is maintained, modernised and adapted as people’s needs change.

 

Home loss and decant report

The Home Loss and Decant report details the arrangements for tenants who have to move because of improvement, redevelopment or demolition of their home.

 

Repairs policy statement

The aim of our Repairs policy is to provide an efficient and effective, user focused, responsive repairs service, which complies with legislation and meets the expectations of our tenants.

 

Lifetime maintenance policy statement

The aim of our Lifetime Maintenance policy is to provide acceptable, modern and good quality housing.

 

Mixed tenure flats - factoring policy statement

The aim of our Factoring policy is to make sure all our properties and privately owned properties in mixed tenure blocks of flats are well maintained and repaired.

 

Equipment and adaptations policy

The aim of our Equipment and Adaptations policy is to allow tenants and their families to continue living in their homes safely, and as independently as possible, where we are not able to provide suitable alternative accommodation to meet their needs.

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Tenancy agreement

Tenancies policy statement

The aim of our Tenancies policy is to maximise tenants' rights for all lets.

Tenancies policy statement (pdf 24kb)

 

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Tenant participation

Tenant participation strategy

The aim of our Tenant Participation strategy is to make sure all our tenants have the opportunity to be involved in decision making processes and to influence decisions that affect their homes. Tenants have the opportunity to take an active part in the development of high quality housing services in Aberdeenshire.

 

Tenant participation policy

We seek to involve our tenants in the monitoring and development of our housing services. Our Tenant Participation policy aims to make sure tenants play their part in decision making processes and have the opportunity to influence decisions about:

  • housing policies
  • housing conditions
  • the standard of housing and related services.

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Minority Ethnic Communities

Minority ethnic strategic outcome statement

Gypsy/Travellers

The Scottish Government considers Gypsy/Travellers as an ethnic group and that their needs should be taken into consideration by local authorities.

We are committed to promoting equality and we recognise and accept the Gypsy/Travellers’ right to a nomadic way of life. Our minority ethnic strategic outcome statement and action plans detail the actions necessary to meet the needs of Gypsy/Travellers in the Aberdeenshire.

For more information please contact our Minority Ethnic Officer on 01467 534897.

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Homelessness

Homelessness outcome statement and action plan

Under the provisions of the Housing (Scotland) Act 2001 local authorities needed to produce a homelessness strategy. Aberdeenshire's first Homelessness Strategy (2003-2006) was written. A further strategy was not needed, after Scottish Government guidance, but local authorities needed to have a Homelessness Outcome Statement and Action Plan as part of their Local Housing Strategy.

 

 

Temporary accommodation strategy

The use of temporary accommodation in Aberdeenshire has increased in recent years due to rising levels of homelessness. The implementation of the Homeless Prevention Team combined with our ongoing work with partners is resulting in a reduction in homelessness. A temporary accommodation strategy is currently being prepared to reflect these changes and plan for future reduction in the use of temporary accommodation in Aberdeenshire.

Our strategy aims to:

  • minimise the use of bed and breakfast accommodation
  • reduce the time households spend in temporary accommodation
  • use temporary accommodation more strategically, being more responsive to households’ specific accommodation and support needs

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