29 September
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West Lothian Council has plans to create a new Young Person's Supported Housing Unit (YPSH) and a further Affordable Housing Project, both located at Almondvale Crescent, Livingston. If approved, West Lothian Council will be one of the first councils in the country to use modular construction to build housing.

Next week, an update is being provided to the Council Executive where councillors are being asked to approve plans to progress the procurement of the construction process.

In October 2022, West Lothian's Council Executive approved initial plans for the facility to be built on a vacant site at Almondvale Crescent. The proposed site is behind the Tony Macaroni restaurant.

Plans for the YPSH consists of 28 units in total with 16 flats designed to be flexible for future use as mainstream housing. Flexible office space will be provided for a maximum of ten staff members along with staff overnight accommodation to provide dedicated space and privacy, whilst still being on hand to assist and support the young people.

The affordable housing will provide 20 units with a mix of two- and three-bedroom houses. Pending approval from Council Executive and Planning permission being granted, further work is required to set out an exact timeframe for construction, but it is hoped that work would commence in Spring 2024 with work completed in a phased approach between January and Summer 2025.

Next week the Council Executive is being asked to approve design plans which will see the facilities being constructed using a modular option.  There are many benefits that this brings in relation to keeping costs under control, efficiencies in programme in comparison to traditional construction and the quality control that can be obtained in an enclosed environment, away from any poor weather. 

The report sets out that the council continues to be at the forefront of new methods of construction and would be one of the few councils to deliver this scale of project utilising off-site construction.

The demand for affordable housing for young people continues to grow. West Lothian has a high rate of youth homelessness in Scotland at 19.2 per 1,000 households and has a history of significant numbers of homeless presentations by young people. In 2021/22 the percentage of homeless applications for those aged 16-25 is over 33% compared to a national average of just over 23%.