Local authorities are required by law to prepare a local housing strategy supported by an assessment of housing need and demand.
New Local Housing Strategy (LHS) guidance for local authorities was issued on 21 August 2014 by the Scottish Government, in agreement with the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA) and the Association of Local Authorities Chief Housing Officers (ALACHO). This supersedes the previous 2008 Guidance. It re-affirms the role of Local Housing Strategies as being at the heart of the arrangements for housing and planning through its links with development plans and its strategic role in directing investment in housing and housing related services locally. As such the LHS should be seen as a key corporate planning activity for local authorities.
Local Housing Strategies are the sole strategic document on housing and housing related services across the local authority area including homelessness, housing support and fuel poverty. The LHS provides an opportunity to integrate a large number of important areas into one overarching document and to support the mainstreaming of strategic planning for housing and to enhance their corporate profile.
A new Sustainable Housing Advice Note providing further information on fuel poverty and climate change has also been issued.
Question & Answer (Q&A)
The Question & Answer (Q&A) facility will be used to notify any additions or amendments to the current LHS guidance (August 2014) until refreshed guidance is published. It will also be used to answer questions raised by local authorities when developing their LHS that may be of wider interest to other local authorities and other stakeholders.
The Local Housing Strategy guidance has been through a full equality impact assessment (EQIA). This took into account the findings from the peer review process (2010-2013) and evidence from earlier EQIAs undertaken on other policy areas, covered by the LHS gudiance.