Cash boost for new af­ford­able homes

The Oban Times - - News -

AT LEAST 200 new af­ford­able homes will be built in Fort Wil­liam fol­low­ing a £1.2 mil­lion grant from the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment to Lochaber Hous­ing As­so­ci­a­tion (LHA).

The an­nounce­ment was made as hous­ing min­is­ter Kevin Ste­wart was in Fort Wil­liam last week. Mr Ste­wart vis­ited the site at Up­per Ach­in­tore where a va­ri­ety of mixed ten­ure homes for rent and pri­vate use will be de­vel­oped.

‘ We recog­nise the chal­lenges of de­vel­op­ing af­ford­able hous­ing in ru­ral ar­eas, so I’m de­lighted our in­vest­ment will help to make af­ford­able hous­ing a re­al­ity at this site,’ said Mr Ste­wart.

‘This grant will sup­port the de­liv­ery of at least 200 new homes in Fort Wil­liam and is a great ex­am­ple of how part­ner­ship work­ing can de­liver a range of homes to suit the needs of the lo­cal com­mu­nity.

‘In­creas­ing the sup­ply of af­ford­able homes across Scot­land is a key com­mit­ment and vi­tal to our am­bi­tion of tack­ling poverty and in­equal­ity in our so­ci­ety.’

LHA direc­tor Blair Al­lan said around 50 much-needed af­ford­able homes have al­ready been built in Up­per Ach­in­tore in the past few years. He said: ‘This Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment grant takes our po­ten­tial in­vest­ment in af­ford­able hous­ing here to a new level. Ev­ery­one knows the hous­ing need in Fort Wil­liam is in­tense.

‘The op­por­tu­nity here is that we can, in part­ner­ship with the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment, the High­land Coun­cil and oth­ers, go a sig­nif­i­cant way to­wards sat­is­fy­ing this need in the short to medium term. We are grate­ful to the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment for this sup­port and for the con­fi­dence it has shown in our abil­ity to de­liver.’

Coun­cil­lor Al­lan Hen­der­son, chair­man of the High­land Coun­cil’s places com­mit­tee, wel­comed the an­nounce­ment.

‘This is good news for Lochaber where there has been a short­age of af­ford­able hous­ing,’ he said.

‘The de­vel­op­ment is es­pe­cially wel­come given the re­gen­er­a­tion of the Fort Wil­liam smelter and the new job op­por­tu­ni­ties com­ing to the area.

‘It comes on top of the re­cent wel­come Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment in­vest­ment which has en­abled the coun­cil and its part­ners to de­liver new af­ford­able homes in Tweed­dale Apart­ments, Raasay Court and Bel­haven Drive.’

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