Affordable Housing Programme

The beginning of another year charts more progress against the Affordable Housing Progamme in the Outer Hebrides, which is supported by Scottish Government, and delivered via a successful partnership between the Comhairle, HHP and TIG.

This spring saw four developments on site in Lewis and Harris, with a total of 78 units between them, all of which are due for completion in 2019:

  • Mackenzie Avenue (50 units);
  • Corran Cismaol, Barra (6 units)
  • Sealladh a’Chliseim (10 units); and
  • Langley Apartments (12 units)

The former Bayhead sub-postmaster and Town Councillor, Abraham Langley, is remembered in Stornoway with much fondness, so it was wonderful to receive a suggestion from Stornoway Historical Society to mark his legacy by naming the development at the former Stag Bakery site on Stag Road, Langley Apartments. A fitting tribute to a Stornoway Gentleman.

It will continue to be a busy year for the partners, as there are a number of developments at various stages awaiting site start, as follows:

  • Rural Uist (7 units);
  • Rural Lewis (8 units);
  • Breasclete, Lewis (10 units);
  • Tarbert Police Station, Harris (8 units);
  • Low Flyer, Balivanich (10 units);
  • Horgabost, Harris (4 units);
  • Goathill Farm Housing (74 units); and
  • Goathill Farm Care Home (52 spaces) and Housing with Extra Care (50 units).

Of those units completed and in planning above, 26 are New Supply Shared Equity.

The main contractors delivering the building works are local companies – Calmax, OMAC and Alex Murray – and Douglas & Stewart Construction (Aberdeen) came on board this year to deliver developments in Harris and Uist. The summer update will highlight how they are all progressing, and a first update on the major works at Goathill Farm – Care Home, Extra Care Housing and Affordable Housing – which recently received the go-ahead.

A good response was received to a call for sites issued in February, and a number of these are now progressing to Feasibility Studies.

All in all, it has been an extremely busy and successful first quarter in seeking to deliver the Strategic Housing Investment Programme (SHIP) which seeks to build 300 new homes by 2023/24. In partnership, 78 new homes have been delivered and made a considerable contribution to the local economy in terms of employment opportunities and skills development.

Kenny John MacLeod, Chairman of Communities and Housing Committee, said: “With support from Scottish Government and working closely with our development partners HHP and TIG, the Comhairle is delighted to see the Development Programme making an excellent start this year. We are pleased to see the progress of the Langley Apartments development on Stag Road, which will provide much needed one and two-bedroom homes in the centre of Stornoway. With three further developments on the ground, and seven awaiting site start, it has been an encouraging first quarter.”

Housing Minister, Kevin Stewart said: “These developments are welcome, providing nearly 250 new affordable homes for communities across the Outer Hebrides. 

“Housing is a priority for this government, which is why we’re investing £3 billion to support our ambitious target to deliver 50,000 affordable homes by 2021, with at least 35,000 of these being for social rent. 

“Everyone deserves a warm, safe, affordable place to live, and these new homes will help us achieve that ambition.”