A Housing Needs Survey of the Ullapool area was carried out in December 2012. The full findings of the survey, which was commissioned by Ullapool Community Trust and funded by a range of partners, are now available:
The report provides robust and detailed evidence regarding the extent and nature of housing need in the Ullapool Community Trust area (from Gruinard to Elphin), as well as suggesting potential solutions tailored to the local context which the local community may wish to take forward.
The findings also offer a potential tool to assist the community in securing funding for housing projects and an opportunity to attract social housing developers to construct more homes.
The Highlands Small Communities Housing Trust carried out the householder survey after Ullapool Community Trust secured funding for the project from Highlands and Islands Enterprise, The Highland Council, Cairn Housing, The Ceilidh Place, Wester Ross Fisheries and Ullapool Construction. Funding was sought because the consultation process for the Community Growth Plan clearly identified that one of the most pressing local issues is the provision of social housing. As a result the Trust contacted various housing agencies and organisations to determine the best way to tackle this issue and were advised that the carrying out a Housing Needs Survey is the first step required.
On 28th August 2013 a meeting of local people interested in getting involved in addressing housing issues in the Trust area was convened by Ullapool Community Trust. Representatives of The Highlands Small Communities Housing Trust were present at the meeting and able to provide lots of useful information about possible options open to the community to tackle local housing issues.
It was agreed that there are two priorities which future work of the group should focus on: addressing the perceived unfairness in the way social housing is allocated locally; and working with partners to increase the supply of affordable housing. First steps to tackle these will include contact with the Highland Council; the completion of a land audit mapping pockets of land (large and small) potentially available for development for social housing in the Trust area; and establishing a steering group for housing in the area (Ullapool Housing Group) with representation from a wide range of interested parties – members of the community, Community Council, local businesses, housing associations working in the area, local elected representatives etc.