Significant investment brings increase in affordable housing for Western Isles



(from left) Matthew Hebditch, development officer Tighean Innse Gall; Norman M Macleod, HHP Board member; Alasdair Mackenzie, HHP Board member; Malcolm Burr, chief executive – Comhairle Nan Eilean Siar; Kevin Stewart, minister for local government and housing; Calum Mackay, HHP vice chair; Norman A Macdonald, convenor Comhairle Nan Eilean Siar; Dena Macleod, HHP chief executive; and Iain Watson housing services manager
(from left) Matthew Hebditch, development officer Tighean Innse Gall; Norman M Macleod, HHP Board member; Alasdair Mackenzie, HHP Board member; Malcolm Burr, chief executive – Comhairle Nan Eilean Siar; Kevin Stewart, minister for local government and housing; Calum Mackay, HHP vice chair; Norman A Macdonald, convenor Comhairle Nan Eilean Siar; Dena Macleod, HHP chief executive; and Iain Watson housing services manager

Housing and local government minister, Kevin Stewart, visited the Western Isles yesterday to open the third phase of an affordable housing development by Hebridean Housing Partnership (HHP) on Lewis.

The new Mackenzie Lane development brings the total number of completed houses at Mackenzie Park to 81, of which 51 are for affordable rent.

The minister was joined by Calum Mackay, Hebridean Housing Partnership vice chair, Dena Macleod, Hebridean Housing Partnership chief executive, and Malcolm Burr, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar chief executive, and talked to tenants from one of the properties on the development.

Mr Stewart said: “Everyone in Scotland should have a safe and warm place to call home and I’m delighted that our investment has helped to make affordable housing a reality at Mackenzie Park, Sandwick.

“This development represents a significant investment and increase in housing for the Western Isles, with the provision of 131 homes on completion of the final phase and Scottish Government grant funding totalling £9.4 million.

“It has also made a positive impact on the local community through creating jobs and is a great example of how partnership working can deliver high quality homes to suit the needs of people and families, allowing them to remain within their communities.”

Glen and Elaine Kew of 14 Mackenzie Lane with Kevin Stewart
Glen and Elaine Kew of 14 Mackenzie Lane with Kevin Stewart

Calum Mackay said: “Our vision is to ‘Make our house your home’ and funding of £5.4m from the Scottish Government and £300K from the Comhairle has enabled us to provide 81 new houses which our tenants and owners have been able to make their home. Building new houses is not just about achieving targets it is ultimately about making a tangible difference for people in the Outer Hebrides by providing somewhere they can call ‘home’, as well as making a considerable contribution to maintaining employment in the construction industry.

“We have been delighted with the quality of homes built by Cal Max Construction. Each home includes high levels of insulation, high performance double glazed windows and air source heating. Cal Max Construction also provided a new bus shelter as part of the community benefit clause in their contract.”

Cllr Kenny John Macleod, chair of the Comhairle’s communities and housing committee, added: “The Comhairle welcomes completion of the latest phase at Mackenzie Park and the investment by all partners concerned. I also look forward to working with HHP to capture the opportunity that additional Scottish Government funding will bring over the next three years. I hope that we can work in partnership to build more affordable housing the length and breadth of our islands and also create a housing land bank for future years.”

The final phase of 50 houses which will be called Mackenzie Avenue is underway and is expected to be complete by September 2019. This phase will be funded by £5.4m from Scottish Government and £216K from the Comhairle and will mark a turning point as all of the homes have been designed exclusively for HHP.

The house style, layouts and external finishes have been designed to reflect the aspirations of HHP and our tenants to create something that’s a little bit different and will signal a new, fresh approach to social housing design in the Outer Hebrides.



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