A housing survey has flagged up the need for new affordable housing in Gatehouse. Over the years much of the local social housing resource has been sold and there are also a growing number of holiday homes and short term holiday lets, reducing the availability of homes to rent.
South of Scotland Community Housing (SOSCH), which works with local communities to provide small scale affordable housing developments, teamed up with Gatehouse Development Initiative (GDI) to undertake an online survey of housing needs in the Gatehouse area. In total an excellent number of 80 responses were received, providing a viable insight into the needs of the community in relation to affordable housing. The key results of the survey showed that the vast majority of respondents (86%) felt there was a need for affordable housing in the Gatehouse area with 33% indicating that they were directly in need. Respondents also showed a strong attachment to the Gatehouse area, mentioning location, community, family and setting. An astonishing 63% of respondents know of someone who had left the area due to lack of affordable housing. Waiting list statistics show that there are 178 applications for 69 houses in the Gatehouse area. With a very low level of turnover, the likelihood of someone on social housing waiting lists obtaining a tenancy in the near future is also very low.
It is important for the sustainability of the community that there are sufficient affordable houses in the local area. As part of the survey respondents were also invited to indicate possible sites for affordable housing. The Community Council have looked at possible sites but have found that green-field sites around the town are likely non-starters due to legal constraints while brown-field sites are mostly the subject of discussion between other parties or have been sold. If a potential site can be identified and it can be made available, then the GDI will work with SOSCH to seek the necessary funding to prepare a feasibility study.
SOSCH development of three new low energy houses in Closeburn.