A Housing Seminar should be held in Uist in early Autumn to begin to develop innovative solutions to address housing issues in Uist and Barra. 

That's the view of the Chairman of the Uist Economic Taskforce Working Group, Councillor Iain Archie MacNeil.

This follows the latest meeting of the Uist Economic Taskforce Working Group meeting held last Friday.

Councillor MacNeil, said, “Housing remains a key component for the economy of Uist and for all our islands, but too many housing matters remain unresolved. 

"Therefore, I am now calling for a Housing Seminar to be held in the very near future in Uist to consider and address a range of housing issues so that we can unlock the economic potential in the Uist and Barra area and address population decline. 

"I will be working with the newly formed Uist and Barra Housing Working Group and all agencies involved to try to make this happen as soon as possible.”

He added, “Now is the time to lay the groundwork for a new policy approach to Housing in Uist and Barra.  We need to explore new and innovative ways in which the demands for future housing for residents and businesses alike can be addressed.  Access to future-fit housing affects jobs and especially recruitment and retention. 

"We need to work together, all the agencies involved and the whole community.  I will be writing to the Scottish Government, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, the Comhairle, Hebridean Housing Partnership, Tighean Innse Gall, the Crofting Commission, crofters and landowners to join forces and to support the Housing Seminar.”

The Uist Economic Taskforce also welcomed the Comhairle’s decision for the recently announced Town Centre Fund to prioritise the regeneration of the Balivanich area as part of the Balivanich Regeneration Project. 

An updated list of priorities for funding will be presented to the next meeting of the Working Group on 28 June 2019