Grampian HA and Barratt joint venture delivers latest affordable homes

(from left) Alexander Macleod, Housing Manager (Strategy) of Aberdeenshire Council, Barry Davidson, Financial Director, Barratt North Scotland, new tenant and her children, Neil Clapperton - Chief Executive of Grampian Housing Association, Nora Radcliffe - Board member of Grampian Housing Association
(from left) Alexander Macleod, housing manager (strategy) of Aberdeenshire Council, Barry Davidson, financial director, Barratt North Scotland, new tenant and her children, Neil Clapperton - chief executive of Grampian Housing Association, Nora Radcliffe - board member of Grampian Housing Association

The first tenants to access housing through Grampian Housing Association’s new choice based lettings system have moved in at Osprey Heights, Inverurie.

The Association joined Homehunt North East Scotland (NES) in March to give applicants more choice about where they would like to live.

The properties are also the first to be supplied in the North East of Scotland by Our Power, a new independent energy supply company and the first in the UK operating on a non-profit distributing basis, offering lower cost heat and power to social housing tenants and their communities across Scotland. Grampian Housing Association is a founding member of Our Power and a number of local housing associations are signed up with the supplier.

Constructed by Barratt North Scotland, Osprey Heights builds on Grampian’s longstanding relationship with the housing developer. The £4.9 million construction includes funding of £1.7m from the Scottish Government and £65,000 from Aberdeenshire Council. The 10 three bedroom homes for social rent mark phase one of the development and an additional 31 homes at Osprey Heights will be provided for the Association later this year.

Gordon Edwards, chair of Grampian Housing Association, said: “We are acutely aware of the need for affordable housing in the Aberdeen Housing Market Area and it is only with the support of the Scottish Government and Aberdeenshire Council that enables us to build new, high quality affordable homes.

“Grampian Housing Association is one of the three local based Registered Social Landlords who are committed to building affordable and low cost homes in Aberdeenshire over the next five years. The properties at Osprey Heights and at our other developments across Aberdeenshire, will mean Grampian Housing Association starts its commitment by providing 118 new affordable homes by the end of 2017.”

Neil Clapperton of Grampian HA with Barratt’s Barry Davidson

Mr Edwards added: “Addressing the economy’s needs for affordable housing also supports the Government’s aim to tackle poverty and inequality, because for many industries and parts of the public and voluntary sectors, we are providing homes for working people on low incomes. We believe the low cost energy supplied by Our Power will reduce levels of fuel poverty and remove inequalities in the energy sector by offering one of the lowest standard prepayment tariffs in the market. This supports our commitment, at Grampian Housing Association, to promote energy efficiency and cut fuel costs for our tenants.”

A further 58 properties for social and intermediate rent will be under construction, with some available for rent, during 2016 at Barratt North Scotland developments in Inverurie, Newmachar, Kemany.

Scott Pettitt, development manager at Barratt North Scotland, said: “We are very pleased to be strengthening our successful 25 year partnership with Grampian Housing Association and continuing to support the communities in which we build.

“The new properties help to increase the number of low cost homes in Aberdeenshire and we very much look forward to playing our part in realising this goal in collaboration with our Registered Social Landlord (RSL) partners.”

Brian Watson, acting head of housing at Aberdeenshire Council, said: “The lack of affordable housing creates real challenges for people in Aberdeenshire and it is not an issue we can tackle on our own. Affordability remains a major barrier to organisations both in public and private sector being able to recruit and retain key workers.

“We will continue to work with partner organisations like Grampian Housing Association in order to increase the number of affordable and low cost housing in Aberdeenshire.”

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