Work starts at Smithton site for affordable new homes

Thursday 21 August 2014

Work has started on a new £3.5 million affordable housing development in Smithton, Inverness, which is set to provide 25 quality new homes by September 2015.

Developed by Inverness-based Compass Building on our behalf, the project will provide 17 two and three bedroomed homes for rent, plus eight two and three-bedroom homes for sale under the Low Cost Home Ownership scheme (LIFT).

As well as providing much needed affordable new homes, the project will also provide a welcome boost to the local construction industry. In addition to Compass Building, the Society has appointed local firms Colin Armstrong Associates, HGA Engineers and KLM Partnership to provide design, engineering and consultancy services.

Calum Macaulay, our Chief Executive, commented: “At a time of heavily reduced funding for affordable housing developments, we are delighted that construction is now underway for 25 much needed affordable new homes in the Highland capital.

“We are also very pleased to be using local contractors for the multi-million pound project. At Albyn Housing Society we aim to build strong communities, not just quality homes, and by supporting local jobs the project will bring benefit to the local community, even before we hand keys over to their new tenants and owners later next year.”

Donald Mackenzie, Managing Director at Compass Building, added: “We’re very pleased to have been appointed as a lead contractor by Albyn Housing Society. This new city development is greatly welcomed as it will bring quality affordable homes to the Inverness community whilst creating valued employment for local tradespeople.”

We purchased the site from the Forestry Commission in 2011 following a successful application to the National Forest Land Scheme which enables community groups and affordable housing providers to purchase National Forest land.

To support construction costs, we were able to secure £1.8 million in funding from the Scottish Government as well as a grant from the Highland Council’s Vacant Derelict Land Fund to help prepare the site for residential development.