The indomitable Ulva Ferry Housing Project – designed to secure the long-term sustainability of the Ulva Ferry area on the Isle of Mull through the provision of affordable rental housing – has been many years in the pipeline.
After four years of hard work and fundraising, this joint venture between the Ulva School Community Association [USCA] and Mull and Iona Community Trust [MICT] is now fully funded and the contract has been awarded to local firm Norman MacDonald Builders.
Work is due to start on site next Monday, 1st August 2016, with the houses ready for occupation by Spring next year.
The Housing Project has been financed by grants from Argyll & Bute Council, the Quaker Housing Trust, the Trusthouse Charitable Foundation, and USCA, along with over £20,000 raised from local donations.
Now additional finance from the Quaker Housing Trust and a grant from the Scottish Government’s new Rural Housing Fund have completed the funding package. The Scottish Government grant of £27,384.30 is the first to be awarded by the new Rural Housing Fund, launched to increase the supply of affordable housing in rural Scotland.
Housing Minister, Kevin Stewart MSP, says: ‘We recognise the challenges of developing affordable housing in remote rural areas and so I’m delighted that the Scottish Government is able to provide funding to this worthwhile project through the Rural Housing Fund. The provision of these two affordable homes for rent will make a huge impact on this small island community.’
The high-quality, three-bedroom homes are being built right next to Ulva Primary School and will be offered for long-term let to local families for £443 pcm on secure tenancies. Thanks to local firm Thorne Wyness Architects’ low energy design, the houses will have heating bills of less than £350 per YEAR.
Iain Thomson, convenor of USCA, says: ‘The latest news about the grant from the Rural Housing Fund is a fantastic boost to the project. So much time and work has been put in and many challenges overcome. It is the result of a community pulling together in the face of school closure and keeping hope alive for the future of the area I look forward to see construction begin soon!’.
Helen MacDonald, Housing Project Manager, adds: ‘We are delighted to be starting work on site this summer.
‘I would like to thank everyone who has supported this project over the years; £22,500 in donations is testament to the importance of these houses to so many people, and the difference they will make to the Ulva Ferry community’.
The houses should be completed by May 2017.
Anyone interested in renting one of these family homes should contact Helen MacDonald:
- by phone: 01688 500 056
- or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org