Housing minister visits Hillcrest affordable housing development in Dundee

Kevin Stewart MSP with David Zwirlein and Angela Linton from Hillcrest

Minister for local government and housing, Kevin Stewart MSP, was in Dundee yesterday to visit the site of a new affordable housing development which will bring 163 new homes to the city.

A partnership between Hillcrest Housing Association and Dundee City Council, the Derby Street development will deliver a mixture of mainstream and assisted living flats and houses, providing a significant boost for the area in providing much-needed affordable housing that is fit for the needs of the community.

The overall development comprises 83 units for Dundee City Council to the north part of the site (in a mixture of mainstream flats and houses and assisted living flats and houses) and 80 units for Hillcrest to the south part of the site – all are mainstream housing but a mixture of social (58) and mid-market rent (22).

The development on this site is being supported by a loan of £7 million from Allia through its charitable bond scheme with the Scottish Government.

Among those welcoming the minister to the site was David Zwirlein, Hillcrest’s director of development and new business, who said: “It’s exciting to be part of the transformation for Dundee’s Hilltown so we are delighted this project will be getting underway soon. Not only will the homes be good quality and affordable, they will be energy efficient and meet a range of housing needs.

“A mixture of flats and houses as well as social and mid-market rent means we will deliver a development which addresses the shortage of affordable rented housing in the city.”

On visiting the site housing minister Kevin Stewart said: “I was delighted to have the chance to visit the proposed Hillcrest development and hear first-hand the great benefits it will bring to the area. It will provide a mix of high quality, affordable homes and breathe new life into the community.

“Funded with £7m through our innovative charitable bonds scheme, support for this development firmly demonstrates our commitment to investing in affordable housing the length and breadth of Scotland, ensuring the right homes, in the right places, for individuals and communities.

“Over this Parliament, we are committed to delivering at least 50,000 affordable homes, backed by £3 billion of investment. Developments like Hillcrest’s, with its promise of 163 new homes, are a great example of how we are meeting that commitment.”

Stewart Shearer, managing director, Robertson Partnership Homes, said: “The new affordable homes being built at Derby Street will make a significant difference to residents in Hilltown and we are pleased to be leading the project as main contractor. Construction work will soon be underway and we will be working closely with Dundee City Council and Hillcrest Housing Association throughout, as well as engaging with the local community. Once complete, we firmly believe Derby Street will be among the finest affordable housing projects ever seen in Scotland.”

Representatives from Dundee City Council were also part of the group who met with the minister.

Ann Rendall, depute convener of neighbourhood services, added: “We are committed to playing our part in meeting the Scottish Government’s new affordable homes target of 50,000 units. This exciting new development with our partners Hillcrest HA contributes significantly to the regeneration of the Hilltown as well as meeting a wide range of housing need.”

Main contractor Robertson Partnership Homes, who were appointed through the Scape Framework, will start on site in the coming month with a completion date of 2019.