Annual performance spotlights

Ensure communities are safe, strong and sustainable

Connect Priority 4

 

We want to build on our communities’ strengths to help them be safe, vibrant, resourceful and engaged.  Our aim is to help create attractive, thriving, environmentally responsible low-carbon and climate-resilient communities, neighbourhoods and places where people not only feel safe, but take pride in where they live and can access the services they want, including quality greenspace. We aim to do this through work with communities and people. With the implementation of our Community Justice Plan there is a clear focus on creating an inclusive and respectful society, in which all people and communities live in safety and security, individual and collective rights are supported, and disputes are resolved fairly and swiftly.

Case study: Allocating homes safely during the coronavirus pandemic

During the initial phase of the pandemic, many Council’s and housing associations suspended allocations and mutual exchanges owing to the many challenges facing landlords. The council recognised however the importance of continuing to allocate properties to those most in housing need, ensuring continued access to housing for homeless households and other priority groups such as those with urgent medical need or being discharged from prison or hospital. 

To achieve this, Housing and Property Services worked together and navigated a very difficult landscape. They assumed a strategic and operational responsibility and understood the priorities and the specific actions that both services were responsible for with the shared objective to continue allocating houses while working safely.

The restrictions on movement, social distancing measures and reduced workforce numbers presented challenges in getting void properties allocated in a safe manner. Through discussions with tradespersons, housing staff and workers unions, safe systems of work were agreed and implemented taking account of the risks faced by staff and tenants and what was reasonably practicable to minimise these.

The teams established clear and effective channels for communication, addressing any issues and taking decisions about what void properties could be turned around timeously, resulting in effective prioritisation both to meet housing need and in keeping lets continuing.  Throughout, close working was also maintained with Registered Social Landlord partners to allocate houses safely to those in need.

The work the council to allocate houses during the early stages of the pandemic has been recognised by the Scottish Government. Minister for Local Government, Housing & Planning, Kevin Stewart MSP and Community Wellbeing Spokesperson, Councillor Elena Whitham said:-

We have heard of positive examples including that of South Lanarkshire Council, who were able to continue letting through the early stages of the pandemic, which we know was a challenge for most social landlords.”

How we did in 2020/21

Note: some 2020-21 results were impacted due to the Covid-19 crisis