Green light for second affordable homes project at Ulva Ferry
Mull and Iona Community Trust (MICT) and Ulva School Community Association (USCA) have been given the green light to build four affordable homes at Ulva Ferry on the Isle of Mull.
MICT and USCA have appointed The Wee House Company to build the new homes. The construction of the homes is the culmination of three years’ dedicated work to secure land and funding for this project, which will meet an ongoing acute housing need locally.
Thanks to a grant of £777,855 from the Scottish Government’s Rural & Islands Housing Fund, £48,000 from Argyll & Bute Council’s Strategic Housing Fund, a mortgage from Ecology Building Society and many individual donations, a full funding package has now been secured.
MICT has said it is also grateful to the Scottish Land Fund, The Prince’s Countryside Fund, Nationwide Community Fund and Highlands & Islands Enterprise for funding the Project Officer’s post.
The project will see construction of four houses at Ulva Ferry, on the west coast of the Isle of Mull, on two plots of land: one purchased via the Scottish Land Fund, and one donated by a local landowner.
The houses will be offered with secure tenancies to those in housing need. Rents will be affordable, in line with social housing on Mull, and will be economical to heat. A locally agreed allocation policy will be used to prioritise applications.
While MICT is a registered private landlord, they are working with West Highland Housing Association, who offer assistance with allocations, management support, and advice to tenants.
Delivering affordable long-term rental homes will have a real positive impact for the local community at Ulva Ferry, including an increase in the primary school roll, and the number of working age adults to work locally which will boost the fragile local economy.
Josh Liddle, USCA convenor, said: “It is fantastic to see The Wee House Company formally appointed to manage this project after so much work behind the scenes. We look forward to welcoming more people to our community here at Ulva Ferry next year”.
Sandy Brunton, MICT convener, added: “Affordable housing is consistently a priority issue across Mull and Iona and this project is a really good example of community powered regeneration. We are so fortunate to have Helen MacDonald, our very experienced Housing Project Officer, steering us through all the challenges of building homes for rent in a very rural area”.
Jennifer Higgins, managing director of The Wee House Company, said: “The need for affordable homes has never been greater and with our newly launched brand ‘Connect Modular’ we look forward to contributing high quality, sustainable homes to help tackle this issue.
“With our wealth of experience building in remote and island communities we are very much looking forward to working with MICT and USCA to deliver these much-needed homes for residents of Mull.”