‘Vital’ homes for low income families opened in Ullapool
New properties built to help people on low incomes own their first home have been officially opened in Ullapool by social justice secretary Alex Neil.
The four one and two-bedroom flats have been made available to local house hunters through the Low-cost Initiative for First Time Buyers (LIFT) scheme, with applicants normally expected to pay between 60 and 80 per cent of the asking price, and the remaining share paid by the Scottish Government.
The flats are part of the £1.8 million development at Garve Road which includes 14 flats built over two storeys, with tenants already living in the ten rented properties, and the four shared equity flats expected to be occupied over the next few weeks.
Mr Neil also got a first glimpse of plans to transform the nearby former site of the Glenfield Hotel into a 55-property mixed tenure development. The Scottish Government provided £415,000 towards the purchase of the site.
During the visit to Garve Road, Mr Neil handed over the keys to new tenants Adam and Katarzyna Nowikowski.
He said: “This development has been backed by £720,000 investment from the Scottish Government.
“These good quality, energy efficient homes at Garve Road are a welcome addition to the supply of affordable housing in Ullapool, offering people more choice and opportunities to find a home that suits their needs.
“Housing is at the heart of the Scottish Government’s ambitions to create a fairer and more prosperous country, and it is our aim that everyone should have a safe, warm home which suits their needs and they can afford.
“Developments such as this not only provide a boost for our construction sector and wider economy but also give people and families the chance to rent or buy a new home at affordable rates.
“We are investing £1.7 billion in affordable housing and are 90 per cent of our way to reaching our five year target of delivering 30,000 homes by 2016, including 18,600 homes for social rent. In recognition of the need to increase supply across all tenures, we continue to provide a range of affordable housing choices including shared equity and mid-market rent.”
Leader of Highland Council, Margaret Davidson said: “Affordable and high quality housing is vital for the Highlands. It is wonderful to see the redevelopment of this former hotel site in Ullapool. It has provided new homes, which are both energy efficient and low maintenance, as well as superbly designed.
“Such developments provide a mix of council and shared equity homes and this is an excellent example of how affordable housing can be made available in rural areas with the help of some additional investment.”