10th July 2012
Scottish Housing Minister turns the first turf at Strand
Keith Brown, the Scottish Minister for Housing and Transport, will visit Strand in Gott on Wednesday 11th July, where 40 new housing units are being built in a partnership project between Hjaltland Housing Association and Shetland Islands Council.
Work has just got underway at three sites – Strand, North Star and Ladies Mire – which will result in 63 new houses and flats for the isles. That makes it one of the biggest development programmes by a community-based housing association in Scotland.
The units are being built through a joint finance scheme, with the Scottish Government (through Hjaltland) contributing c.£3m, with matched funding coming from the Council, and a further c.£3m raised by Hjaltland itself in the form of a mortgage to be repaid through rents. Eleven of the 63 units will be available through a Scottish Government shared equity scheme, designed to help first-time buyers get onto the property ladder.
Councillor Alastair Cooper, chairman of the SIC’s Development Committee, says the schemes could have a wide-reaching impact: “Providing much-needed and affordable social housing is key to promoting economic and social development in Shetland. Increasing our housing stock can attract new skills into the community, as well as alleviate the shortage of affordable housing in the isles.”
Jeff Goddard, Chairman of Hjaltland Housing Association says “I’m delighted to see Strand and the other two schemes ready to go – these will provide much-needed social housing in Shetland, and are an excellent example of the importance of Hjaltland Housing Association and Shetland Islands Council working together.”
Housing Minister Keith Brown said: “The Scottish Government is investing over £3 million in Hjaltland Housing Association’s latest development, bringing more good housing news for Shetland. The housing association and Shetland Islands Council are to be congratulated for working so positively and productively on this development.
“The provision of quality affordable homes is vital to ensure the prosperity of Shetland, and it helps to house and retain the local population. It will also sustain the local building trade and related businesses.”