The Council's Communities Service continued to provide high-quality services and vital support for tenants and residents over the last 12 months despite challenges caused by the cost-of-living crisis and the Covid-19 pandemic, a report to Councillors says.
The Housing and Social Wellbeing Committee will receive an update on the performance of services when the Annual Performance Report for Communities is presented on Wednesday 21st June.
The report sets out some notable performance highlights over the last year:
- We delivered 203 new affordable homes in Perth and Kinross during 2022/23, exceeding our target of 200.
- We worked with Perth Citizens Advice Bureau to provide financial assistance to 926 of our tenants who found themselves in financial hardship, minimising the impact of the cost-of-living crisis on these people and their families.
- A co-ordinated response to child poverty across Perth and Kinross continued, through our Local Child Poverty Action Plan. Our Anti-Poverty Task Force was set up following Council approval in September 2022 and comprises of members from the Third Sector, Police Scotland, NHS Tayside, elected members, the Chief Executive and Senior Officers.
- There was a 21% increase in all homeless presentations, which was reflected nationally due to demand caused by post-pandemic conditions and cost-of-living pressures. However, through our innovative Home First approach we minimised the number of children living in temporary accommodation and continue to be one of the leading authorities in Scotland in tackling and preventing homelessness.
- A new self-serve online Housing Options service was launched, making it easier for people to access a wide-range of housing options.
- To support tenants to quickly move into their new homes we increased our starter and furniture packs, spending around £50,000.
- Along with our Community Planning Partners we developed a new Town Centre Action Plan for Coupar Angus to address issues including health and wellbeing, poverty, social isolation, and employability.
- People fleeing the war in Ukraine and people seeking asylum continued to receive support to settle into accommodation. To date, our communities have welcome over 450 people from Ukraine.
Committee Convener, Councillor Tom McEwan, said: "This report details how our Housing Services have continued to support delivery of the Council's objectives and key priorities in the face of continuing serious challenges.
"Over the past twelve months demand for our services have risen as the cost-of-living crisis has hit our residents, and as we emerged from the disruption caused by the pandemic. We have reacted by putting in place a wide range of services and support to minimise the impact on our communities as much as we can, and this work will continue.
"I would like to pay tribute to our hard-working staff for all their excellent work over the last 12-months. They continue to make a huge difference to the lives of local people, and I am very proud of their professionalism and dedication."