Calls for council to do more to tackle housing shortage

Councillors have questioned whether more can be done to tackle a lack of available houses in the isles.

Robbie McGregor said that the current housing availability was “a major issue” in Shetland, at Tuesday’s development meeting.

And development director Neil Grant admitted this was “one of the big issues for our community”.

Both Mr McGregor, and councillor John Fraser, asked whether the SIC could consider asking local construction firms to build more houses “speculatively”.

Chairman Alastair Cooper said the council was already doing this to some extent – although on a very small scale.

Mr Fraser also raised the possibility of the council acting as a lender for people looking to build a house for the first time.

Council leader Steven Coutts said it was important to exercise “a word of caution”, however.

He acknowledged that housing was an important subject, but urged members to allow the SIC “to actually deliver it” – with over 400 homes set to be built over the next ten years at the Staney Hill and Knab sites.


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