Orkney Islands Council
Working together for a better Orkney

Strategy and Policy

The Council is the statutory housing authority for Orkney and has a duty, in partnership with other agencies, to make sure there is an adequate supply of housing for its citizens. It is required to prepare plans which set out clearly the extent of demand for housing, in the short and medium terms, and how that demand can best be addressed.

The Council is required by law to develop a Local Housing Strategy which is a local assessment of housing need and supply across all tenures.  In addition various other strategies are required by law, which effectively underpin the Local Housing Strategy. Other strategies are required because of specific housing issues which affect the local area and therefore are developed to help the Council meet housing need.

The following strategy and policy documents illustrate how the Council intends to deliver its housing services in Orkney.

Strategy Documents (Alphabetical Order)

Advice and Information Strategy (2011 - 2016)

This covers the Council's approach to the provision of advice and information in relation to housing and includes close joint working with a range of partner agencies. The Council has a statutory duty to ensure housing advice is available free of charge in the local area. The main aim of the Advice and Information Strategy is to prevent homelessness wherever possible by ensuring good quality housing advice is available throughout Orkney.

Arrears Strategy

The Council is committed to collecting rent from its tenants as efficiently as possible and wishes to keep arrears to a minimum. This strategy covers the Council's approach to minimising rent arrears and outlines an efficient approach towards dealing with arrears where they do occur.

Asset Management Strategy (Repairs and Maintenance Policy)

This provides detailed information on repairs undertaken by the Council on its houses.

Fuel Poverty Strategy (2011 - 2016)

The document sets out the Council’s priorities for dealing with fuel poverty in Orkney over the next 5 years. The strategy outlines the extent of the problem and the actions considered to be the most effective in improving the energy efficiency of the housing stock across all tenures.

Homelessness Strategy and Profile of Homelessness

The Council is required by law to produce a Homelessness Strategy. In seeking to address this requirement the Council has produced a Profile of Homelessness which outlines the local issues in respect of homelessness and provides a wealth of statistical information. The Homelessness Strategy covers the Council's approach to the prevention of homelessness wherever this is possible and where homelessness cannot be avoided, its response to homelessness.

Housing Support Strategy (2011 – 2016)

Good quality housing support is vital to assist people with particular needs to maintain a tenancy. A broad range of housing support services exist across Orkney but there are certain challenges including an expanding legislative requirement and a population with increasingly complex needs.  This strategy seeks to outline the Council’s response to this and how it may meet those needs.   

Local Housing Strategy (2011 - 2016)

The Council is required by law to produce a Local Housing Strategy. This includes a detailed assessment of housing need across the local area and seeks to influence supply accordingly. The Local Housing Strategy is a detailed assessment of housing need which crosses all tenures and involves close joint working from a range of agencies.

Older Persons’ Housing Strategy (2011 - 2016)

The population of Scotland is getting older and as a result there are increasing pressures on housing to meet the particular needs of an ageing population. The Council’s Older Persons’ Housing Strategy seeks to determine the Council’s response to this and how those needs may be met. 

Private Sector Housing Strategy (2011 – 2016)

The private sector plays a vital role in meeting housing need. The majority of the population lives within this sector. This strategy outlines how the Council will work with the private sector to improve standards and to seek to meet housing need.

This strategy is currently under review and therefore not available for download.

Temporary Accommodation Strategy (2011 - 2016)

The Temporary Accommodation Strategy seeks to determine the need for homeless accommodation to meet a range of needs. It endeavours to ensure supply is sufficient to meet demand and that emergency housing of the right type is available in the areas where it is required. It also considers the resources available to deliver this.

Tenant Participation Strategy (2011 - 2016)

The Council is required by law to produce a Tenant Participation Strategy. This considers how the Council will involve tenants and residents in matters which affect them including policy development and tenancy matters.

Young Persons’ Housing Strategy (2011 - 2016)

Orkney has an ageing population. However, it also has a younger population and the rising cost of housing coupled with supply issues in respect of affordable housing has resulted in younger people having difficulties in finding suitable accommodation. It is vital to house the islands’ workforce for economic sustainability.  This strategy outlines the main issues for this group and how the Council will respond to their needs.

This strategy is currently under review and therefore not available for download.

Policy Documents (Alphabetical Order)

Accessibility Policy

This covers the Housing Services’ means of ensuring that our services are accessible to all, whether physically or non-physically. This covers the provision of information in different languages and formats to ensure that everyone is able to access our services and there are no barriers due to English being a second language or due to any disability for example.

Affordable Housing Policy

This policy is part of the role the Council has in working with other agencies to meet housing need. This requires that where housing is being developed, a quota must be applied to the development so that a proportion of the development is affordable to those on lower incomes.

This policy is an integral part of Orkney's Local Development Plan. As such there is a link to the Local Development plan under related sites on the left of this page. The Affordable Housing Policy can be found under section 8.14.

Antisocial Behaviour Policy

Antisocial behaviour can be destructive and prevent people from being able to enjoy their homes. This policy outlines Housing Services approach to antisocial behaviour.

This policy is currently under review and therefore not available for download.

Equalities Policy

Housing Services is required to ensure that its services are available to all and that no discriminatory practices apply in respect of sex or marital status, racial grounds, disability, age, sexual orientation, language or social origin, or of other personal attributes, including beliefs or opinions such as religious beliefs or political opinions. This document covers the means by which Housing Services ensures that it does not discriminate in any way in the provision of its services.

Lettings Policy

The Council allocates its Council housing on the basis of housing need. This policy provides detailed information on that process. 

Policy on Pets

This policy outlines the Council’s position in relation to tenants wishing to keep pets within Council properties.

Policy on Private Sector Landlord Registration

The Private Sector Landlord Registration Scheme covers requirements for landlords to become registered with the Local Authority. This policy outlines the Council's approach to the Private Sector Landlord Registration Scheme.

Removal Grant Policy

This scheme allows Council tenants who no longer require a larger house to obtain financial assistance if they move to a smaller Council property.

Rent Setting Policy

The Council sets its rents based on the size of the property, the area in which it is and various other criteria. This policy outlines the process of setting rents.

Repairs Policy

Please refer to the Asset Management Strategy. This provides detailed information on repairs undertaken by the Council on its houses.

Right to Repair Policy

The Right to Repair scheme relates to specific types of repair and includes tight timescales for delivery and compensation may apply in situations where timescales are not met. This policy outlines how the Council responds to repairs which fall within the criteria.