New funding paves way for second affordable housing project at Ulva Ferry

Mull and Iona Community Trust (MICT), working with Ulva School Community Association (USCA), has secured a grant of £156,865.51 from the Scottish Land Fund to realise a second affordable housing project at Ulva Ferry on the Isle of Mull.

The project will deliver four homes across two sites which will be offered as secure, long-term let, via an allocation process, and at an affordable rent.

The Scottish Land Fund award will cover the majority of the cost of the purchase of a plot at Ulva Ferry, along with half of the staffing costs to appoint a project officer.

MICT and USCA successfully delivered two affordable houses at Ulva Ferry in 2017, increasing the number of children in the area by 40% and working age adults by 10%, thus strengthening Ulva Primary School’s roll, and the overall sustainability of the community. Despite this success, there is a continued need for affordable long-term rental housing in this remote area of Mull, which is essential for the continued sustainability of the community.

Extensive feasibility work carried out over the winter months confirmed that there was a particular shortage of housing for working age couples and families, and local businesses were struggling to recruit and retain staff as a direct result.

USCA, and the wider Ulva Ferry community, will be at the heart of the project as it develops – having the opportunity to be involved in the whole decision process from the design of the houses to the allocation policy. Funding towards the build costs will be sought from grant sources including the Rural Housing Fund, set up by the Scottish Government in 2016 to increase the supply of affordable housing of all tenures in rural Scotland.

MICT general manager, Moray Finch, said: “We are delighted to receive this grant from the Scottish Land Fund, which will enable us to deliver a second housing project for Ulva Ferry. In such rural areas provision of affordable housing is key to securing wider social and economic benefits for the community as a whole.”

USCA convenor, Josh Liddle, added: “Affordable housing remains the top priority at Ulva Ferry, and this project will ensure there will be more pupils in the school, more working age adults to boost local businesses and a stronger community overall – we can’t wait to start building again.”