Midlothian affordable housing plan approved by councillors

Dalkeith councillor Stephen Curran (Labour).
Dalkeith councillor Stephen Curran (Labour).

Midlothian Council has approved its Strategic Housing Investment Plan for 2019-24, identifying locations for 2,202 affordable homes.

The new homes are being developed by Midlothian Council and local housing associations. The plan also notes that the Scottish Government is supporting new development by providing a record high in the level of funding for new housing, with £8.1 million of grant funding allocated to housing developments in Midlothian during the current year.

However, the plan identifies that an increased level of Scottish Government funding will be required to reach the affordable homes target for this period.

Councillor Stephen Curran (Lab), cabinet member with responsibility for housing said: “The Strategic Housing Investment Plan details an ambitious five year plan for addressing housing need in Midlothian.

“This is in addition to over 1,000 council homes that have been built by the council since 2006.

“It is clear that there is an increasing need for affordable housing due to demographic change and because many people cannot afford to buy or rent in the private sector.

“The Strategic Housing Investment Plan also ensures that housing is being planned to meet a range of needs, including housing for older people and those with a disability.”

However, speaking at last week’s full council meeting as the plan was approved, Cllr Cath Johnstone (SNP) said: “I think we need to do things for our current tenants to make it easier for them to move up and down the housing ladder. To make the most of our current housing allocation. And I don’t see that addressed anywhere.”

Cllr Johnstone was told that officers are working on a paper on the council’s current housing allocation.