A collaborative commitment to increase housing supply and targeted action to tackle Argyll and Bute’s housing emergency, are just some of the key summary points from a Housing Summit held this week.
Argyll and Bute Council welcomed over ninety partners and stakeholders to a Housing Emergency Summit in Oban. Partners from a wide range of agencies including housing associations, public sector bodies, the house building industry, funders, the voluntary sector and a wide range of community and interest groups attended the Summit, responding to a ‘call to action’ to tackle Argyll and Bute’s housing crisis.
In June, Argyll and Bute was the first Scottish local authority to declare a housing emergency in response to mounting pressures in the local housing system. Declaring a housing emergency was intended as the catalyst to bring partners, stakeholders, investors and communities together to prioritise and commit to the action needed to tackle housing shortage.
The purpose of the Housing Emergency Summit was to enable partners together to pledge commitments aimed at increasing housing supply. Partners were challenged to think ‘out of the box’ and to pursue brave and bold ideas which respond to the scale of the housing emergency, as quickly as possible.
The outcome of the Housing Summit will be a Housing Emergency Action Plan jointly produced with partner agencies across Argyll and Bute. The plan will target action where it is needed most and will have the greatest impact in:
- Enabling the delivery of more market homes in Argyll and Bute
- Enabling the delivery of more affordable homes in Argyll and Bute
- Enabling the delivery of homes for Argyll and Bute's workforce
- Making the best use of existing homes in Argyll and Bute
Councillor Robin Currie, Leader of Argyll and Bute Council, welcomed delegates to the Emerging Housing Summit. He said: “Here in Argyll and Bute we have a really strong track record in partnership working. The housing Summit is evidence of that with a real commitment from everyone attending to input into the issues we have prioritised.
We all know there is no single answer to resolving the housing emergency, nor can any one agency do it alone. It is imperative to bring all the threads together, all partners together, to focus as a collective on the challenges and the opportunities.
“An emergency situation requires extraordinary and creative thinking, and we need to come together to achieve this. The actions we prioritise are not for others to take, they are for us as partners to take and that is why the partnership pledges made at the Summit are so incredibly vital. This commitment will help inform an action plan to deal with our housing emergency in the short, medium and longer terms.
“We have been overwhelmed by the interest and response to the Housing Emergency Summit and I’m very grateful to all partners for attending.”
Summit partners will launch the Housing Emergency Action Plan in early 2024.