New affordable homes for Balfron



The Ward family being welcomed to their new home (left to right) Colin Cameron (chair of Balfron Community Council); Harrison (8 years); Finlay (4); Mr Steven Ward;  Mathew (11); Laughlin (6); Beth (9);  Lewis (13);  Mrs Kelly Ward; Cameron (3); Councillor Violet Weir and Margaret Vass (RSHA chair)
The Ward family being welcomed to their new home (left to right) Colin Cameron (chair of Balfron Community Council); Harrison (8 years); Finlay (4); Mr Steven Ward; Mathew (11); Laughlin (6); Beth (9); Lewis (13); Mrs Kelly Ward; Cameron (3); Councillor Violet Weir and Margaret Vass (RSHA chair)

Rural Stirling Housing Association (RSHA) has celebrated the completion of eight new affordable homes for rent at Dunmore Street, Balfron.

A crowd of invited guests including Steven Paterson MP, Claire Baker MSP, representatives from several rural Community Councils and Association members gathered to view the new homes with the kind co-operation of the tenants.

Stirling Councillor Violet Weir, housing portfolio holder, officially opened the new development and congratulated the Association and the developer on the quality and energy efficiency of the new homes.

She said: “This development is especially welcome and demonstrates the effectiveness of the council’s strategic approach to delivering new affordable housing in partnership with Rural Stirling Housing Association and Cala Homes.”

RSHA chair Margaret Vass commented on the innovative funding of the development. In accordance with the S.75 planning agreement it involved no Scottish Government grant but instead required CALA to contribute 60 per cent of the cost of building the homes.

She highlighted the partnership working that had been involved and thanked the council for a contribution to the costs which had helped ensure that the most pressing local needs were met.

Also speaking at the event, Colin Cameron, chair of Balfron Community Council, said “I would like to thank Rural Stirling for these new homes which have ensured that there is a good mix of housing in the Dunmore Street development. They will make a great contribution to the life of the village.”

Under a Local Lettings Initiative priority was given to people in housing need who live in or have a need to move to Balfron.

The development comprises a bungalow, four cottage flats and three houses. Two of the homes were amalgamated however to accommodate a large family whose needs had come to light during the course of the development. This work is reversible meaning that should needs change in future the unit can once again be separated into two houses. The homes all have gas central heating plus solar thermal roof panels and meet the Scottish Government’s Housing for Varying Needs standard for lifetime homes.

The opening ceremony was followed by the Association’s well attended Annual General Meeting at the McLintock Hall, Balfron.

Rosemary Williams, retiring RSHA Management Committee Member, with RSHA chair Margaret Vass
Rosemary Williams, retiring RSHA Management Committee Member, with RSHA chair Margaret Vass

In presenting the Annual Report (2014/15), RSHA chair Margaret Vass commented on another successful year; with new homes built in Doune; planned repair work carried out to some existing homes and high levels of service performance to tenants.

She highlighted that the Association’s priority is to deliver value for money - through services to tenants and building more homes - in order to make a positive contribution to local communities. She also spoke of the challenges ahead in light of forthcoming welfare reform and social security cuts and the extra support that some tenants will require from the Association.

Two new tenant members were elected to the Management Committee but the Association also marked the retirement of longstanding Management Committee Member Rosemary Williams, of Thornhill, who has been involved with the Association since its inception in 1989. Prizes were also awarded to winners of the Association’s annual garden competition.



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