We are making a major contribution to help people escaping conflict in Ukraine by bringing up to 200 homes back into use on a temporary basis.
The homes, in residential towers in Coatbridge and Wishaw, will be reinstated to a high standard to allow people escaping the conflict to live in a safe, welcoming environment supported by £5million of Scottish Government funding.
The towers to be temporarily reinstated were being prepared for demolition as part of the council’s ambitious towers strategy, which will see all residential tower blocks in North Lanarkshire ultimately demolished and replaced with new homes.
A number of people arriving in Scotland from Ukraine are placed in hotels on a temporary basis while waiting to be matched to suitable accommodation. The refurbished homes being made available by the council will provide suitable and safe accommodation which is more sustainable than long-term hotel stays and which means people can establish a sense of community.
Councillor Jordan Linden, leader of North Lanarkshire Council, said: “The people escaping conflict in Ukraine face the most unimaginable circumstances. Across Scotland, so many have welcomed Ukrainian people into their homes and communities, and I am proud that we can play a leading role in the national effort by providing a large number of homes here in North Lanarkshire.
“I know that the people of North Lanarkshire will welcome those who face such an uncertain time with their usual warmth and generosity, and I am pleased that we can move quickly to assist.
“Already, council staff are working with partners to provide support and advice to people from Ukraine in hotel accommodation, and that extensive work will continue when these homes are occupied. As Scotland’s largest council landlord, we are well-placed to deliver the reinstatement of these homes and I look forward to welcoming people over the coming weeks.”
Neil Gray MSP, Minister with Special Responsibility for Refugees from Ukraine, said: “We appreciate this contribution from North Lanarkshire Council. These homes will play a vital role in providing longer term accommodation and support to displaced people from Ukraine. The council is to be commended for recognising the importance of assisting national efforts to home thousands of people fleeing the illegal war in Ukraine.
“The Scottish Government and partners are providing practical support and a welcome to more than 4,500 displaced people through our super sponsor scheme. Ensuring we have a supply of safe, secure homes in partnership with councils, housing partners and individual host volunteers is a vital part of this work, and we are grateful to everyone who is supporting this.”
The first reinstated homes will be available for occupation in around six weeks, with the programme extending over the coming months up to 200 homes.