The Highland Council has agreed to use City-Region Deal funding to part fund new mid-market housing projects throughout the Highlands.
The affordable housing projects will be developed by Albyn Housing Society and Highland Housing Alliance in Ullapool, Fort William, Alness, Inverness, Aviemore, Grantown, Drumnadrochit and Newtonmore and will deliver 61 new homes targeted at young people working in the area.
The new homes will be let at mid-market rates – approximately 80% of the average rate charged by private landlords in the area. Those being developed by Albyn Housing Society will be leased by its subsidiary, Highland Residential, which specialises in providing mid-market tenancies.
Councillor Allan Henderson, chair of the council’s environment, development and infrastructure committee, said: “This is good news for these communities and highlights our commitment of using funding from the city region deal to offer young people attractive, affordable housing in the Highlands to enable them to stay in the region, retaining a young, vibrant workforce for the Highlands.
“I am pleased to say that further projects in other areas of the Highlands are currently being worked up and we and our partners are on target to deliver 750 new mid-market homes over the next 10 year period.”
All 61 new homes are expected to be completed by the end of 2019. They include eight units in Alness, four in Aviemore, 25 in Inverness, six in Fort William, eight in Grantown, four in Newtonmore, five in Drumnadrochit and six in Ullapool.
They follow on from the 5 homes already underway in Drumnadrochit which are also funded by the Highland city-region deal. Work on site started in November last year with the 5 homes forming the first phase of an overall wider housing development which includes 23 homes for social rent, including community care housing), and 4 for low cost home ownership.
Gail Matheson, chief executive of Highland Housing Alliance, said: “We are delighted to be working with our partners in delivering much needed mid-market rental homes in many areas across Highland. Demand is high and we will be able to offer homes to young people and families to ensure that they are able to stay in their local community.”
The Highland city-region deal is a joint initiative supported by up to £315m investment from the UK and Scottish governments, The Highland Council, HIE and University of the Highland and Islands, aimed at stimulating sustainable regional economic growth.