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Housing Policy and Strategies

This page provides information about West Lothian Council's housing policy and strategies. It also provides links to supporting documents, research and guidelines.

Buying Back Former Council Houses - Open Market Acquisition Scheme (OMAS)

West Lothian Council's Open Market Acquisition Scheme (OMAS) was approved at Council Executive on 11 October 2016. The council can offer up to market value to purchase ex-council properties on the open market.

The property must be sold with vacant possession and each party will bare their own legal and valuation fees. A value for money assessment will be carried out and the Council will seek the best value price that does not exceed the Home Report valuation.

The property should not require more that £8,500 to be spent to bring it up to the Scottish Housing Quality Standard. In the first instance the Council will seek to purchase 1 or 2 bedroom properties unless there is a strategic reason for purchasing a larger property.

If you are selling an ex-council property in West Lothian and are interested in the council purchasing this property please complete this OMAS Enquiry form.


Local Housing Strategy

Each Council is required by law to produce a Local Housing Strategy. West Lothian Council's Local Housing Strategy is a document which spans five years and outlines our plans for housing and housing related services across West Lothian. The document covers issues such as housing need and demand, homelessness and prevention, fuel poverty and energy efficiency.

West Lothian Council believe that both tenants and residents should have a say in our Local Housing Strategy. We asked what you thought of our current Local Housing Strategy and your views of how to improve it or what should be included in our future strategy. Consultation took place during June 2023, and we thank you for your comments and feedback. You can view the West Lothian Council's Local Housing Strategy 2023-2028 and related documents from the links below;


Strategic Housing Investment Plan (SHIP)

All local authorities in Scotland are required to develop and deliver a Strategic Housing Investment Plan (SHIP) that outlines the planned projects and work that will be carried out on the councils housing stock. Our current  Strategic Housing Investment Plan (SHIP) 2021-2026 [274KB]  is available to read. We have now finalised our  Strategic Housing Investment Plan (SHIP) 2024-25 to 2028-29 [287KB] , which commences April 2024.


Scheme of Assistance

The Council is required to have a statutory statement ("the scheme of assistance") to describe the type of support and advice available to private home owners for repairs and maintenance and information about disabled people's adaptations (children and adults).

The scheme was updated on 25th June 2019 to reflect current council policy, including the current Local Housing Strategy, Capital Investment Programme and social policy Eligibility and Contributions Policies introduced by Council in 2018. A copy of the Scheme can be found here. [108KB]


Mortgage to Rent

West Lothian Council has also reviewed their policy on the Mortgage to Rent scheme. This "enables home owners to remain in their home, when faced with financial difficulties and repossession, by selling their home to a public sector landlord and becoming a tenant of that landlord". For more information view the following paper:  Mortgage to Rent [169KB]

Mortgage to Rent is a Scottish Government initiative. Follow this link (opens new window) for more information on this scheme.


Housing Asset Management Plan

West Lothian Council approved the Housing Asset Mangement Plan [303KB] for 2023/24 - 2027/28.

The Plan sets out the Council's approach to the management of its housing assets. It supports the delivery of the Council's priorities by:

  • Establishing a corporate framework for the management of the housing assets;
  • Highlighting corporate outcomes and priorities and how they will be supported through the effective and efficient management of these assets;
  • Presenting an overview of the 14,000+ houses owned and managed by the Council;
  • Identifying the internal and external influencing factors and challenges affecting the housing stock;
  • Identifying a number of activity themes to improve the performance of property asset management; and
  • Outlining the investment that will be made to houses over the next 5-years.

General questions and suggestions can be sent to: 

Housing Strategy and Development Team, 
West Lothian Civic Centre, 
Howden Road South, 
West Lothian, 
EH54 6FF

West Lothian Council Buying Back Former Council Houses