Tasglann nan Eilean Siar (Hebridean Archives) has been established with funding from the European Regional Development Fund, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar and Comunn na Gàidhlig.
Established in April 2010, this three year project will create a professionally staffed archive service for the Western Isles. The Tasglann makes accessible to the public the records of the Comhairle, its predecessor bodies and collections of records that have been gifted or deposited with the Comhairle.
The Home Insulation Scheme is Scottish Government funded and local authority endorsed, and is delivered by the Energy Saving Trust. It is an area-based initiative that will offer energy saving advice and measures to up to 100,000 households across ten areas of Scotland before March 2010, and will also contribute towards meeting Scotland’s challenging targets for reducing carbon emissions and fuel poverty.
Lewis and Harris constitute one of those ten areas and up to 8,500 homes could benefit from the scheme. Teams of Home Energy Assessors will work their way across Lewis and Harris from November 2009 to 31 March 2010 (inclusive), taking a street-by-street, door-by-door approach. If your home is one of the 10,591 to benefit from the scheme you will be given prior notice of when Home Energy Assessors will be in your area.
The Home Insulation Scheme is just finishing on Lewis and Harris and will start on the Uists and Barra later this summer. If you want to see if your home can get some insulation in the roof or cavity walls, phone 0800 512 012 or follow the link Home-Insulation-Scheme
A Boiler Replacement Scheme is due to start in Scotland on 24 May 2010. There is currently only enough funding to help 5,000 households replace old & inefficient boilers with new ones - a grant of £400 is available. For more details either phone 0800 512 012 or follow the link Scottish-Boiler-Scrappage-Scheme
Anyone who has claimed Housing Benefit and disagrees with the decision made in their assessment can challenge the decision by submitting an appeals form within one month of the date of the original decision. The authority is responsible for advising claimants of appeal procedures and investigating each appeal.
A claimant may be eligible for their claim for Housing Benefit to be backdated if there is a good cause why they were unable to apply for their Housing Benefit earlier. The authority is responsible for advising residents about eligibility for backdating claims and for processing applications.
The local authority has a duty to recover overpayments of benefit for which there was no entitlement from claimants and landlords and where necessary take criminal proceedings in respect of fraudulent overpayments.
Housing Benefit is generally paid for a maximum of 60 weeks (5 years if the claimant is over 60). The local authority is responsible for issuing the claimant with a renewal form approximately 8 weeks before the current benefit period is due to end and for assessing the eligibility of the claimant to continue to receive Housing Benefit.
WARNING: If you do not send your renewal form back on time you may find that your Housing Benefit doesn't get paid. You may find that you are building up rent arrears.
The Care and Repair project is for elderly or disabled owner/occupiers or private sector tenants who require repairs or improvements to their home. The service excludes decoration, gardening, fencing, slabbing etc. Clients are required to pay the cost of the materials only. A hardship fund will operate to pay for materials in limited cases. If you are unsure whether the small repairs service can assist, please telephone for advice.
The local authority will provide support and assistance to local residents who are victims of harassment, anti-social behaviour and noise and nuisances and where necessary take appropriate actions in conjunction with other agencies (police etc.).
Housing - repairs - emergency out of hours repairs
The Hebridean Housing Partnership (HHP) operates an emergency repair service for their tenants. This deal with essential repairs outside of normal working hours where there may be risk to tenants, the public or the environment if the repairs are not carried out immediately or where the property may not be secured.
In a genuine emergency outwith normal office hours you can contact Hebridean Housing Partnership on 0845 603 9180.
Homeless people who fit eligibility criteria (age and needs) for council run sheltered accommodation can apply for a place and will be assessed for suitability. Where they do not fit eligibility for sheltered accommodation they will be considered for other council run housing in the standard way.
Scottish Planning Policy expects planning authorities to be able to demonstrate that there is a sufficient supply of effective land to meet anticipated housing requirements in their area for at least five years. This can be achieved through the preparation of a housing land audit.