Affordable housing programme reaches 1,000 new homes milestone
Fife’s Affordable Housing Programme has reached the significant milestone of delivering 1,000 new homes.
The commitment to deliver 2,700 new affordable homes by 2017 was agreed in 2012/2013. Since then the programme has been working hard to achieve that target and the completion of Kingdom Housing Association’s development at Pittencrieff Street in Dunfermline has just taken the tally of completed homes to over 1,000.
And a further 532 are already under construction with hundreds more in the pipeline.
This latest development in Dunfermline has been designed as a gateway project and provides 65 new affordable homes for mid market rent. The total project cost was just under £6.5 million and Kingdom received around £2.3m in subsidy from the Scottish Government and Fife Council to assist development of the project. The new development provides a mix of 2 and 3 bedroom homes, built to very high insulation standards, which have been designed with modern life in mind, incorporating contemporary design features. The project at Pittencrieff Street was designed and built for Kingdom by Campion Homes, a Fife based developer.
Kingdom’s chairperson, Charles Milne, said: “This project is an example of the range and types of affordable housing projects we are developing to meet a wide range of housing needs in Fife. The Pittencrieff Street project has been developed to very high standards and the quality of the new homes are exceptional. There has been very high demand from priority applicants for the project and I hope the tenants enjoy living in their new homes.”
Mr Milne added: “At Kingdom we deliver projects through collaborative working and this development and the Fife Affordable Housing programme are successful examples of what can happen when all partners work towards a common objective. Our mission statement at Kingdom is to provide more than a home and the development of affordable housing projects provide opportunities to deliver community benefits such as, the training and employment initiatives which were incorporated into the Pittencrieff Street contract.”
The Affordable Housing Programme presented its second annual report to the Fife Housing Partnership earlier this month, setting out the progress over the last year and the targets going forward to meet the commitment.
The leader of Fife Council, David Ross, visited Pittencrieff Street to mark the milestone. He said: “I’m delighted we are now over half way into delivering on this programme in terms of homes now complete or under construction. The positive impact this is having on families in housing need is enormous and I’m extremely proud of the work we are undertaking to tackle Fife’s housing crisis.
“We’re increasing our stock of modern, fit for purpose, energy efficient homes and in doing so have also created many opportunities for local contractors and suppliers, safeguarding and creating local jobs. So far the programme’s construction spend has directly benefitted the Fife economy to the tune of almost £18m.
“The programme has also delivered well on employment opportunities with 76 people benefitting from employment through the Opportunities Fife programme or being supported through an apprenticeship.”
Councillor Judy Hamilton, executive spokesperson for housing & building services and chair of Fife Housing Partnership is pleased that it’s not just the tenants moving into newly built homes that are benefitting. She said: “Where possible, the council’s new build properties are allocated to existing tenants whose current home is not suitable. Their existing home is then freed up to allocate to someone else on the housing list and this chain of lets means that 2.4 household’s housing needs are being met for every new council house let.
“These homes are energy efficient and are helping to reduce fuel poverty with the average household saving around £290 a year on their energy bills. Tenant satisfaction with these new homes remains high and I have seen first-hand the positive effect that they continue to have on so many people’s lives.
“However, there is still a lot of work to be done to meet the housing needs of everyone in the Fife and I’m very pleased that the council’s executive committee recently agreed to lengthen the programme.
“This means that we should hopefully see a two year extension and more council houses delivered, in addition to our partners’ contributions and on top of what is already committed. We’ll continue to work with local communities to find the best housing solutions for their area.”
For more information on the affordable housing programme or to download a copy of the latest annual report visit www.fifedirect.org.uk/newbuild.