Minister opens landmark Midlothian affordable housing development
A landmark affordable housing development in the Midlothian town of Penicuik has been officially opened by Kevin Stewart, minister for local government, housing and planning.
The 24 homes at Greenlaw Mill, built for Melville Housing Association by Taylor Wimpey East Scotland, sees Melville’s stock numbers reach its highest ever level.
The Dalkeith-based housing association took over 2,023 properties from Scottish Homes almost 25 years ago, however in the following ten years almost a quarter of the original homes were sold through Right to Buy. But the launch of a successful new build programme in 2004 has now seen more than 450 Midlothian homes delivered over the past 15 years.
Made possible thanks to funding of £1.68m from the Scottish Government’s Allia charitable bond scheme, the development at Greenlaw Mill is made up of 24 high quality two bedroom flats, three of which are specially-adapted ground floor properties with wet room showers.
Kevin Stewart MSP said: “Everyone deserves a safe, warm, affordable place to live, which is why we’re committed to delivering 50,000 affordable homes by 2021. We rely on the hard work and support of housing associations like Melville to deliver quality developments like these to help us achieve our ambitious target.
“I congratulate Melville on the opening of this landmark development, the first in the area to be funded by the innovative charitable bonds scheme. These new homes will transform the lives of their tenants by giving them a sense of identity and belonging and also help to create a vibrant community that brings people together.”
The Melville milestone of 2,024 properties was reached when Viviene Stacey moved in to her new two-bed flat with daughter Zoe. Following the completion of this latest development, Melville, Midlothian’s largest registered social landlord, now owns and manages 2,032 properties for rent.
”We are delighted to welcome the Minister to our newest, and record-breaking, development,” said Andrew Noble, chief executive of Melville Housing Association. “These homes, and all those like them, are only possible thanks to the hard work of staff, the vision of our board and support from our partners at the Scottish Government and Midlothian Council.
“We are committed to helping meet the desperate need for high quality affordable homes in Midlothian but passing our original stock numbers wouldn’t have seemed possible ten years ago. However with the end of Right to Buy, and thanks to innovative funding models like the Allia charitable bond scheme, the future really does look much more hopeful for the many thousands of people waiting for an affordable Midlothian home.”
This is Melville’s fifth new build project with Taylor Wimpey, a partnership which has so far delivered 92 affordable homes across Midlothian. It is Melville’s first new build development in Penicuik since 2011, and will help meet the local area’s particularly high demand for affordable housing.
Pauline Mills, land and planning director for Taylor Wimpey East Scotland, added: “We are delighted to continue our strong partnership with Melville Housing Association at Greenlaw Mill in Penicuik. As part of the new developments and communities that we create, it is important that we focus on the delivery of high quality new homes of all tenure - social rent, mid-market rent, discounted for sale and private. The partnership that we have with registered social landlords and affordable housing providers are an integral part of our business to deliver the affordable elements of our new developments.”