Mull and Iona Community Trust launches housing survey
Mull and Iona Community Trust (MICT) is launching an island wide survey to inform what accommodation and range of tenures is required for keyworkers, now and into the future.
In partnership with Community Enterprise and the Communities Housing Trust, MICT is undertaking feasibility work to provide homes for keyworkers, with funding from the Scottish Government’s Rural Communities Into Action fund which is administered by Inspiring Scotland.
The survey results will help shape what accommodation should be developed, led by the needs and aspirations of organisations and businesses, and will help ensure the islands thrive into the future. This could be for short term needs (like trades and the hospitality sector) or “stepping stone” accommodation for essential workers such as teachers and health professionals.
MICT is particularly keen to retain and attract younger people, families and those working in the area, to ensure services remain and that people of all ages can live and stay within their communities.
The survey is aimed at public sector organisations and businesses of all kinds who are struggling to find or retain staff because of lack of accommodation.
Helen Macdonald, housing project officer at MICT, said: “The lack of accommodation and housing on our islands is a major constraint to our local businesses, and a solving it is key priority for MICT.
“We are grateful to Inspiring Scotland for awarding us funding via the Rural Communities Ideas into Action fund to undertake a detailed feasibility study and options appraisal for the provision of key worker accommodation on Mull and Iona, working with Community Enterprise and Communities Housing Trust.”
Douglas Westwater, CEO of Community Enterprise, added: “A recent visit to Mull confirmed that this is a major issue. What we need now is detail about the scale and nature of the need so we can find a way to address it”.
Ronnie MacRae, CEO of Communities Housing Trust, commented: “We are delighted to be working with the Mull and Iona community, drawing on our experience to look outside the box, and provide appropriate solutions through a range of tenures and housing models. Island services and economies can be fragile and we now have an opportunity to address this for the long term, with Scottish government policies on land reform, supporting rural housing and community empowerment.”