Much needed housing

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They have been a long time coming but at last the new council houses in Brodick are showing real signs of coming to fruition.

The picture of the first finished two-bedroom houses at the Brathwic Terrace site, which only require internal fittings, is a welcome sight indeed and the rest of the development is coming on apace with the first homes due to be allocated later this summer.

And that is where it is vital that North Ayrshire Council gets it right. The 34 homes are too precious to the future of Arran’s economy to be handed out on a whim. So we are pleased to see that a local letting initiative will give islanders the edge with 100 points added to their application.

Additional priority will also be given to essential workers, who meet the criteria, as there is a realisation about difficult it is to hire and retain key staff in important jobs on the island, such as health and social care and education.

It is well known Arran has a chronic housing problem and there are just not enough affordable homes for the young, or reasonably priced long-let accommodation, because of the competing demands of second homes owners buying property and the more lucrative holiday lets for flats and houses.

Moving forward, to encourage working age population growth, Arran will need to invest in affordable housing and community areas to attract young professionals and families to the island.

Certainly 34 new council houses, the first to be built on Arran in 30 years, is a step in the right direction, but there is a long way to go to find a solution to resolve Arran’s future housing needs.