FLATS previously earmarked for demolition in Saltcoats are to be refurbished to be used on an interim basis by people who have fled the conflict in Ukraine.
It comes following an award of £486,000 from the Scottish Government to North Ayrshire Council for the work.
The properties will be upgraded and brought back into use for a period of three years before being reassessed as part of the local authority’s new build housing programme – allowing the council to retain its commitment of 1,625 new homes by March 2027.
North Ayrshire Council leader, Marie Burns, said, “We have welcomed more than 200 Ukrainians to North Ayrshire and are ready to welcome more in the coming weeks and months. With funding now secured from the Scottish Government’s Ukraine Longer-Term Resettlement Fund, we are looking to begin improvement works within the next few weeks.
“While there is understandable uncertainty for anyone arriving here from Ukraine, it’s important that they feel secure and supported – having that secure tenancy will help. We want them to feel like North Ayrshire is a home away from home.”
Up to £50 million has been made available to councils and registered social landlords through the Scottish Government fund to bring properties back into use that would otherwise not be available to let.
Scottish Government minister with special responsibility for refugees from Ukraine, Neil Gray, said, “Scotland continues to stand with the rest of the UK, Europe and the world, in condemnation of Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine. Since the conflict began, more than 20,000 people with a Scottish sponsor have arrived, representing 20% of all UK arrivals – the most per head of any of the four nations. More than three quarters of these arrivals have come through our Super Sponsor Scheme.
“This fund is going to help us meet the housing needs of displaced people from Ukraine by providing them with longer-term, sustainable accommodation. I want to thank North Ayrshire Council for their creativity in finding local solutions that boost the overall supply of homes at a time when they are needed most.
“This week, I have written to local authorities and social landlord representatives across the country to encourage them to look at their current housing supply and identify unused accommodation so that we can increase the supply of available accommodation and provide people from Ukraine with safe and secure homes for their time here.”