Our £4.5m housing development in Westercraigs, Inverness welcomes first tenants

Monday 30 July 2012

Thirty people are moving into new homes in Inverness this week (30 July) at the latest development from affordable housing provider Albyn Housing Society.

The development in Westercraigs, the biggest Albyn has developed in recent years, consists of 42 two, three and four bed properties.  Keys have been handed over to tenants for the first 12 homes, with the remaining 30 units set for completion next month.

Sandy MacKenzie, 57, gladly received the keys to his new home in Portree Terrace and is delighted with his new home.

He said:  “I am thrilled with my new house, the location is absolutely perfect.  The finish to the house is excellent and it’s so spacious it’s ideal. I have recently taken up painting and there is so much space there for me to spread out all my supplies.

“I am so excited to get settled in to my home, it’s a fresh new start.”

Albyn Housing Society welcomes new tenants to the development, but warns it may not be able to provide such large numbers of affordable homes in future.

Chief Executive Calum Macaulay said: “We are delighted to welcome our new tenants to Westercraigs.

“However, with funding at an all time low our future provision of new builds looks extremely challenging.  This is worrying, but as one of the larger housing associations, we will continue to do our best to keep up with the increasing demand.

“This development is the result of a successful relationship with the infrastructure, support services and construction group Robertson, the Highland Council and the Highland Housing Alliance. Working together in this way has allowed us to fund an important new site at an unrivalled location in Inverness which benefits from excellent city centre links as well as a peaceful rural location.”

Albyn will offer low-cost sale for ten properties under the Shared Equity Scheme with the remaining 32 available for rent.

The Shared Equity Scheme offers residents the chance to get on the property ladder by buying up to 80 per cent equity in their property. Applicants have welcomed the Scheme, which targets priority groups including first time buyers, in a time when arranging a mortgage is proving difficult.

Frank Reid, Regional Managing Director at Robertson, said: “We are delighted to have been involved in this innovative partnership, which included input from our Homes and Construction businesses, to deliver affordable housing at a time when it is particularly in demand.  Hopefully this is an approach which can continue to be used successfully in the future.”

The project has been part funded by a £2.8m Housing Association Grant provided by the Scottish Government.