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Saturday, June 15, 2024

Isle of Skye Positive Steps to Address Affordable Housing Challenges  

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Construction has begun on twelve homes in the village of Broadford, Isle of Skye to help address affordable housing challenges.

The Highland Council, as the strategic housing lead engaged with local businesses, key local service delivery organisations, such as NHS Highland and the community to identify housing needs for the area, and then worked in collaboration with the Highland Housing Hub to develop a solution.

The development will see four homes by Lochalsh & Skye Housing Association (LSHA) that are being developed through the Scottish Governments LIFT initiative for low cost home ownership and a further eight homes made available for private sale by Compass Building & Construction Services Ltd (Compass), that will be targeted at local, economically active people.

These eight homes are being supported through the Scottish Government’s ‘Partnership support for regeneration’ grant mechanism, that bridges the gap between the cost of development and the sales value of the home upon completion.

A ‘Rural Housing Burden’ attached (by Lochalsh & Skye Housing Association) will apply to the sale of the eight private homes, whilst unique to Skye it has been successfully introduced in other areas of Highland.

The private homes will have to ensure the property is used as the owner’s primary residence and will help address one of the Isle of Skye’s housing challenges, by ensuring the property is occupied as a main residence.

Housing and Property Committee Chair, Cllr Glynis Sinclair said:

“The Council’s housing strategy aims to address housing needs across the Highlands and the Broadford affordable housing project is a great example of partnership working to increase the supply and mix of housing options for Isle of Skye residents and most importantly create much needed ‘homes’ for people on the Isle of Skye.

“Incorporating a ‘Rural Housing Burden’ preserves the community benefit and affordability into the future.”

This is achieved as the Burden gives the LSHA first right on purchasing the home, at market value, in the event of the owner wishing to sell the home, so that it can then be resold to the target client group.

Skye and Raasay Area Committee Chair, Cllr John Finlayson said:

“Twelve new affordable homes beginning construction in Broadford is very much welcomed by all local Members.

“The housing shortage and the societal impact is felt widely across the communities, health service and local businesses.

“The Rural Housing Burden will enable eight opportunities for people to own their own affordable home, whilst safeguarding the properties for future retention.

“A further four homes will add to the much needed social housing stock.”

Compass Managing Director, Thom MacLeod said:

“We are delighted to be able to partner on this project, delivering homes for sale in Broadford. 

“We have worked with Lochalsh & Skye Housing Association to build affordable homes here already and adding homes for sale, following on from projects in Strathpeffer and Ullapool, is something we were keen to do. 

“We look forward to working with the Council and development partners to identify more opportunities to utilise this mechanism.” 

Chief Executive of Lochalsh & Skye Housing Association said:

“We are pleased to continue our successful partnership with Compass on this project, adding to the 24 homes we recently completed on the site. 

“Islanders want affordable choices, and these homes for sale offer an alternative type of housing to the area, supplementing the extensive affordable development programme undertaken by LSHA on the Isles that includes developments on site in Kyleakin, Raasay, Kilbeg, Portree, Armadale and Dornie.”

Minister for Housing, Paul McLennan said:

“I am pleased to see work start on these 12 new affordable homes. 

“In supporting the delivery of homes for sale we are creating long-term benefits to the community, strengthening resilience and sustainability in the local area.   

“This project will add to the 8,000 rural and Islands homes we have already delivered since 2016/17, as part of our commitment to deliver 110,000 affordable homes by 2032, at least 10% of which will be in remote rural and island communities.”

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