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Why a Housing Options Guide?

The Scottish Government, through their Information and Advice Standards Unit, is promoting the importance of good quality housing advice and information. They are assisting Local Authorities throughout Scotland to develop, implement and promote Housing Options Guides. Orkney Islands Council achieved accreditation at the National Standard for advice and information providers for its Homelessness and Advice service originally in March 2008 and this has been maintained throughout. This guide represents our ongoing commitment to expanding and improving our advice services accordingly.


Orkney Islands Council’s Housing Service offers an integrated housing advice service to consider appropriate housing options and to seek to find an appropriate solution to any housing problem.

We aim to provide good quality, affordable, housing as an option to the people of Orkney. We also aim to offer a high standard of service to those on our housing waiting list or otherwise using our services.

The housing we provide includes general needs, temporary, supported and sheltered accommodation.

We provide a detailed housing advice service and aim to assist anyone who may be homeless or threatened with homelessness. We also work closely with partner agencies, such as Orkney Housing Association Limited, Orkney Islands Property Developments Limited and Orkney Health and Care.

The Housing Service is also responsible for taking the strategic overview of housing provision in Orkney into the future. In meeting this aim the Housing Service contributes to the social and economic well being of the community, in partnership with other agencies. We also work jointly with a range of other agencies, to provide integrated services to meet local needs, whilst making the most of the resources available.

Who we provide services to

  • We provide general needs housing as an affordable housing option for families, couples and single persons. This is to give an alternative that allows individuals to live and work in their area of choice and promote sustainable communities.
  • We provide temporary accommodation and advice to those who find themselves homeless for whatever reason. Where possible we work to prevent homelessness from occurring.
  • We provide supported accommodation for those who need additional support to live independent lives. This might be in the form of specialist accommodation and may include support staff provided by other agencies as required.
  • We provide sheltered and extra care accommodation for those that require a degree of additional support to stay in their own homes.
  • We provide a detailed advice service intended to assist with housing options advice and to seek to prevent homelessness wherever possible.
  • We also let garages and garage plots.
  • We register private landlords and assist with advice and training.

What we provide

As an applicant for housing you can expect:

  • Good advice on your housing options.
  • Your housing needs to be accurately assessed.
  • Your housing application to be processed efficiently.
  • A courteous and timely response to all enquiries.

As a tenant of the council you can expect:

  • Good quality accommodation.
  • Repairs completed on time and to a good standard.
  • An efficient and cost effective service.
  • Proper consultation in all decisions that affect your home.
  • Proper and timely investment in your home.
  • Advice and assistance from a Housing Officer as required.

The 'Housing Management Charter' and 'Homelessness Charter' are available in PDF format from the 'Related Downloads' section of this page.

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