Population grows overnight with new houses
THE Ulva Ferry community on the Isle of Mull has welcomed two new families who have moved into the first affordable-rent housing to be built in the area for decades.
Six years ago the community was under threat of losing its primary school due to long-term population decline brought about by the lack of affordable housing options for young people.
Now these families bring six children to the area, cementing Ulva Ferry’s future sustainability.
The new houses were built as a joint venture between the Ulva School Community Association (USCA) and Mull and Iona Community Trust (MICT), and are next to Ulva Primary School.
The houses have been allocated via a points system which gave priority to young families.
The Ulva Ferry community has been at the heart of the project from the outset, from choosing the architect and finalising the design, to agreeing the allocation policy. Community-led housing projects are never the easy option, but the completion of these houses is testament to the dedication of local community members and the project team.
Tenant Samantha Wright said: ‘We are thrilled to be moving into this beautiful new home. Everyone has been very welcoming and our daughter can’t wait to settle into Ulva Primary School. Having had to move frequently from one private let to another, it is comforting to know we can make this our long-term home.’
Housing project manager Helen MacDonald said: ‘We are just delighted to see these two families moving into the new houses, and we hope they are very happy in them for many years to come.
‘This community housing project proves that social housing can be innovative and stylish, as well as affordable. The level of interest from potential tenants was significant, giving us the impetus to plan further affordable housing in the Ulva Ferry area.’
Chairman of USCA Iain Thom- son added: ‘It is fantastic to welcome these two families into the new houses and the community. When the school was threatened with closure, we would never have dreamed that six years on not only would we have two longterm rental houses here, but also a pontoon facility and a transport scheme. Together, these projects will ensure a sustainable future for Ulva Ferry.’
The housing project was backed by the Scottish Land Fund, Argyll and Bute Council, the Trusthouse Charitable Foundation, the Quaker Housing Trust, the Scottish Government’s Rural Housing Fund, Triodos Bank, USCA, a significant anonymous bequest and more than £22,500 in local donations through a high-profile crowdfunding campaign.
The new houses have been built close to the primary school.