Annual General Meeting 13 August 213
A new Chair and four new Board members were elected to deliver affordable housing solutions in the Highlands in an increasingly challenging climate at our AGM in Inverness on Tuesday night (13 August 2013).
Easter Ross-based Douglas Russell was elected Chair of the Highlands’ largest housing association. Erin Grant, Karen Williams, Pauline Dingwall and Thomas Solle were elected to the Board as Ella MacRae, Christina Cameron, Maureen Cairney and George Kelman stood down with approximately 100 years’ service between them.
Here are Maureen and Christina receiving their bouquets from Isabell McLaughlan, who stood down as our Chair at the AGM.
Here is Ella receiving her bouquet and our thanks for her 25 years of service as a Board member.
Councillor Drew Hendry, Leader of The Highland Council, spoke of increased partnership working between The Highland Council and Albyn. Cllr Hendry said: “Between the local authority and housing associations we have been able to build more affordable homes in the Highlands than anywhere else in Scotland over the past year, which has helped to reduce homelessness by 52% in two years.
“New and innovative funding solutions have been delivered thanks to great partnership working between Albyn Housing and the Council and, if we continue to pool our resources we can go on to meet demand.”
In the year to April 2013 Albyn Housing Society built 100 new affordable rented properties together with 25 new homes for the low cost initiative for first time buyers (LIFT) scheme. The organisation, which owns over 2,900 homes for rent in over 60 communities, delivered a 25% increase in the number of repairs on the previous year. The Society’s turnover was £15,863,000 up from £14,040,000 last year.
Calum Macaulay, our Chief Executive, said: “Our biggest challenge this year and for the future is the impact of recent welfare reform. The so-called Bedroom Tax, in addition to other changes to welfare provision across the UK, is already having a damaging effect on individuals, families and communities across the Highlands.
“We have pledged to support our tenants in whatever way we can and I look forward to working with our new chair and board to ensure the sustainability of Highland communities. This goes beyond the delivery of affordable housing. Through our subsidiary Albyn Enterprises we continue to deliver commercial and social enterprise ventures, such as the planned Hotel Artysans at Inverness Campus in partnership with the Calman Trust.”