This blog post focuses on some of the projects we have in the Easter Ross and East Sutherland area of the Highlands. Various housing schemes that we provide are occurring in the town of Dornoch; while Alness is in the process of providing new properties under the Greener Homes Initiative. Our main contractors in these areas so far have been J & S Gunn Ltd, and Pat Munro Homes.
Recently we have had a mass increase in the provision of affordable housing in the Dornoch area. Having originally provided 2 semi-detached properties through our first phase of Rent To Buy developments, we are on our way to completing a further two homes as part of our second phase of Rent To Buy.
Our first of these developments was built by J & S Gunn Ltd. – two x three bedroom semi-detached properties completed in September this year. This project was done as part of our first phase of Rent To Buy homes. Both are now occupied, with 2 families now been given the opportunity to own their own home after renting the property for 5 years before purchasing at a reduced, below-market price. This is made possible by the attachment of a Rural Housing Burden to the property.
Rent To Buy Phase 1, Dornoch
Rural Housing Burden – A means of protecting the original discount offered on the home.
If you buy a home of ours which has this attached, you will still have full title to the property, although HSCHT holds a pre-emption right. Whilst you can pass the home onto your children, if you decide to sell it, this right of pre-emption which gives HSCHT the option to buy is back for the previously agreed equity share. This allows us to keep our house prices low, and maintain our ability to provide housing to families who may otherwise struggle to own their own home.
Nearing completion, and available for occupation early in the new year, we have 2 semi-detached bungalows, complete with front and back garden and off street parking. These houses are available to local families and individuals through the second phase of our Rent To Buy Scheme.
Rent To Buy Phase 2, Dornoch
The properties have been built by Pat Munro, as part of their large Deans Park development of new housing of various types in Dornoch. The great new homes – which tie in with the rest of the brand new modern housing and street development – include a spacious, open plan lounge and kitchen, two bedrooms and a bathroom. In the final stages of construction, these properties are yet to be assigned; so if you are interested in applying, contact us about an application or brochure.
Visualisation of Internal Layout for illustrative purposes.
Due to be complete in February next year, we have also managed to introduce another two homes by J & S Gunn Ltd. through the Greener Homes Initiative – adjacent to the homes they previously built for us as part of our original Rent To Buy scheme.
These Greener Homes are being developed for the Highland Council. The tenants for these properties will be selected from the Highland Housing Register – a register shared between the Highland Council and registered social landlords around the Highlands compiled of anyone in the area seeking social rented housing.
The Greener Homes Initiative -
Following a successful bid from HSCHT and the Highland Council, through the Scottish Governments Greener homes Initiative (GHI), funding was secured to provide 20 units throughout the Highlands. While 13 of these units will be provided by HSCHT, a further 7 will made available by the Highland Council.
The Initiative aims to encourage modern sustainable and environmentally friendly developments, by providing funding to projects which make use of greener technologies, modern methods of construction carbon friendly materials.
Greener Homes, Dornoch
The Highlands Small Communities Housing Trust have had a presence in Dornoch for several years now, with another two properties on the same street being sold to families back in 2008 through a shared equity scheme – allowing them to purchase an affordable home due to the attachment of a Rural Housing Burden.
We are also working with Pat Munro in the town of Alness, to deliver four new homes through the Greener Homes Initiative. Located in Newfield, Alness, these four semi-detached two bedroom bungalows can be purchased at a low fixed price now due to the attachment of a Rural Housing Burden.
Greener Homes, Alness
These properties are similar to the units designed and built by Pat Munro in Dornoch. Each includes two bedrooms, a bathroom and a large open plan kitchen and lounge area.
The modern layout is complemented by the modern methods of design and construction, with each encompassing greener ideals, from high levels of insulation to the introduction of Canadian Solar Black Panels. Pat Munro Homes have a proven track record of building sustainable homes, and these are no exception. The houses are designed to have lower running costs and are built to the Scottish Building Standards Silver Active Level of sustainability.
Visualisation of Internal Layout for illustrative purposes
While two of the properties in this scheme have already been completed and assigned to happy tenants, we are still taking applications from people who are interested in moving into the remaining two Greener Homes, which we are due to take handover of the second week in January.
We are currently taking applications for both the Pat Munro ‘Rent To Buy’ properties in Deans Park, Dornoch, as well as the new ‘Greener Homes’ being developed by them in Alness.
If you are interested in any of these schemes, get in contact to receive a brochure and application form. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
On Wednesday 12th November, we held an Open Day to showcase our Rent to Buy and Greener Homes projects which have been taking place in the village of Lochcarron.
The development incorporates two Rent To Buy units, and two Greener Home units. While the two Rent To Buy properties have been assigned, the Greener Homes are still available for anyone who is interested in applying. (Application instructions can be found towards the end of this blog post).
The Greener Homes Scheme aims to help people who would like to become home owners by providing them with the opportunity to purchase new homes that are sustainable, energy efficient and affordable. Like the Rent To Buy scheme, these properties are available to rent for a 5 year period before the tenant is given the opportunity to purchase the house at a discount of around 20% below the open market value as a Rural Housing Burden is attached.
These contemporary homes built by Highland based contractors, MAKAR Construction, are all single story, 2 bedroom, semi-detached properties with each incorporating a very open-plan layout, while allowing stunning views over the hills and water.
As with all our Greener Homes projects, the units aim to meet the highest of environmental standards, with each house having a very low total of embodied energy. Through the use of locally sourced timber and the natural non-toxic insulation and other materials, the development looks to meet top environmental standards. The air-tight structures includes wood burning stoves to create a warm and and economically sustainable home for each family.
Yesterdays Open Day was a great success, allowing us to showcase these great new sustainable homes to the local community as well as others involved in the project. We were there from the afternoon to the early evening, with many visitors deciding to swing by to learn more about the project as well as get to see inside the modern timber properties.
As we head into the colder winter months, many visitors to the properties commented on how the houses proved to great at keeping the heat in, with the wood burning stove warming up the house.
Prospective tenants who were at the open day were also able to start the thought process of how they are going to furnish their new homes in an attempt the create great new personal living.
We are still accepting applications for the two remaining Greener Home properties, so if you are interested in applying, or would simply like more information, feel free to contact me at email@example.com. Alternatively, just give us a call on 01463 233 549.
To find out more about the contractors of this project, head over tohttp://www.makar.co.uk and have a look at some of the other great work they do.
This modern property lies towards the west coast of the country near Ballachulish in the Lochaber area of the Highlands.
In 2008 we sold this vacant plot to a family who would go on to build a home for themselves with help from attaining a Rural Home Ownership Grant from the Scottish Government – a grant which is now no longer available. The plot was a shared equity project, allowing the family a discounted plot for below the land value.
Recently due to work commitments, this family decided to move – resulting in HSCHT fully buying back the property. The Rural Housing Burden previously set on the land, meant the trust has the first opportunity to buy the house.
This has allowed us to provide a great new home to another family, who otherwise may have struggled to find a property in the area. This new family can now cite their close family members as neighbours – a desirable factor in the search for suitable applicants by the trust, as we look to provide homes to people who have a form of local connection to these rural areas.
This family will now rent the property at a reasonable price for 5 years, before being presented with the opportunity to purchase the house. The shared equity we hold and Rural Housing Burden in place allows the family to buy the property at a price much below market value when the time comes.
If you are interested to hear about any similar properties or projects in your area we may have available. Feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
This blog will feature a wide variety of HSCHT’s developments and types of projects located throughout the Scottish Highlands. It will also include the latest news and updates regarding the trust.