The Uist Economic Recovery Forum has completed and published a Report exploring the housing challenges and barriers for young adults on Uist.
The Forum identified housing as a critical area to explore as part of its activities to help the Uist economy recover as it emerges from the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Report explores a range of critical issues including the current housing situation for young adults on Uist; how new housing is currently developed on Uist; how housing development may change in the future and explores short term solutions to increase the supply of affordable housing for young adults on Uist.
The Report is clear that the challenges faced by young adults on Uist are not unique with shared experiences across the Highlands and Islands. The Report also identifies that different solutions are being tried throughout the region, many of which are community-led. The development of more community-led solutions is therefore seen as one of the ways that may offer an appropriate way forward in Uist.
The Report concludes with advice and recommendations to the Uist and Barra Housing Group, to Comhairle nan Eilean Siar and to young adults looking for housing on Uist.
Commenting on the Report, Councillor Iain A. MacNeil, a member of the Uist Economic Recovery Forum and Chairman of the Uist and Barra Housing Group, said: “This is an excellent Report that explores and gets to the heart of some of the challenges faced by young people in Uist looking for housing solutions. What I find particularly interesting about the Report is the fact that it has been generated from within the community and that it advocates community-led solutions. I am hopeful that we can now move towards exploring and implementing some of these solutions and I would hope that the Uist and Barra Housing Group will have a key role in driving forward some of these initiatives.
Councillor MacNeil continued, “The Report also makes recommendations to the local housing authority, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar. I hope the Comhairle will consider these recommendations seriously and I am happy to note that the Report will be considered at the next available meeting of the Comhairle’s Housing Working Group.
“There are also issues within the Report that I hope the Scottish Government, Hebridean Housing Partnership and the Crofters Commission take seriously. The Uist Economic Recovery Forum will be writing to each of these, and a number of related organisations, making them aware of the Report and seeking further engagement around the recommendations."