Scottish Land & Estates’ member The Highland Housing Alliance (HHA) has delivered the 1,000th home under the Scottish Government’s National Housing Trust initiative (NHT). The milestone was achieved on Tuesday 15 September 2015, when the HHA took handover of the final 12 of 48 NHT homes at its Westercraigs site on the western edge of Inverness.
NHT is an initiative which aims to work with Local Authorities to increase the supply of affordable homes in areas where there is great need. NHT is an element of the Scottish Government’s collaborative development company, the Scottish Futures Trust (SFT). The Highland Council, the Highland Housing Alliance and Moray-based Robertson Homes formed a partnership to deliver the programme in and around Inverness.
The development at Westercraigs comprises two bedroom flats and two and three bedroom houses with a family sized garden. All homes feature fitted carpets, blinds, an oven, hob, extractor unit, a washing machine and a fridge freezer. The homes are constructed from high quality, modern materials and are designed with good levels of insulation.
Gail Matheson, Chief Executive of the Highland Housing Alliance said:
“We are delighted to be involved in the National Housing Trust initiative. Since its introduction in 2011, we have built 135 homes with a further 17 due for completion shortly. Many of these new homes have been built in rural villages around Inverness. Construction work has boosted economic activity in the area and the homes have provided many people and families with a real way of being able to become home owners.
The NHT initiative is supported by a Scottish Government guarantee provided by the SFT and is designed to create new homes at a mid-market rent initially but in the longer term it will also help local families get a foot on the property ladder.
“It is a very popular option as it gives people time to save for a mortgage deposit, one of the main stumbling blocks in securing finance. In some circumstances, the tenant will have up to the 10th year to purchase. The initiative has proved to be extremely popular and demand remains high for the flats and houses that we have built."
The HHA has delivered homes in 7 sites across the Highlands including Inverness and the rural villages of Kiltarlity, Kildary, Golspie and Ardersier. A further 17 flats will be delivered in December 2015 when the Academy Street (Inverness) development is completed.