Hjaltland Housing Association supports NHS during COVID-19
Hjaltland Housing Association provided accommodation for essential NHS workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Association was delighted to get the support of both the Shetland Islands Council and the Scottish Government to purchase six new one-bedroom properties in Lerwick this year. The purchase provided the perfect opportunity to utilise the excellent partnership working that takes place in the isles by assisting the essential NHS workers.
Head of investment Paul Leask said: “The new properties were purchased in the middle of March just when the country was going into lockdown and our local NHS team were looking for suitable accommodation to house essential workers. We very quickly agreed to provide five of the properties to them on a temporary basis and facilitated the installation of white goods etc. so they were ready for use within a matter of days.
“Quick decision making and good communication between all parties enabled this to happen and it is testament to the excellent working relationships we have with our partners in the local authority and the NHS. The properties were purchased through the Affordable Housing Supply Programme with the Scottish Government providing £590,000 in grant assistance.”
NHS chief executive for Shetland, Michael Dickson, said: “NHS Shetland greatly appreciates the support received from Hjaltland Housing Association and it exemplifies the joint working that underpinned Shetland’s approach to our COVID-19 response. Knowing the staff were able to access high quality accommodation was instrumental in us being able to sustain staffing levels that were essential in ensuring we could meet the needs of patients with COVID-19.”
Minister for local government, housing and planning, Kevin Stewart, added: “Hjaltland Housing and NHS Shetland are to be commended for their hard work to provide temporary accommodation for essential NHS workers at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. The Scottish Government is providing over £5.5 million in funding towards affordable housing development in Shetland in 2020-2021.
“The ongoing support of housing providers such as Hjaltland Housing Association, working with local authorities and the construction industry, is essential to stimulate growth and infrastructure investment, supporting businesses and the wider community.
“This Scottish Government remains absolutely committed to seeing more affordable and social homes delivered in communities across the country which is why we have invested a record £3.5 billion over the course of this parliament.”