Housing association announces significant new projects in Orkney
Orkney Housing Association has taken further steps to build strongly out of the COVID pandemic, support the local construction industry and deliver a significant number of highly energy efficient new affordable houses in Orkney.
Latest contract awards worth over £5 million to Orkney Builders (Contractors) will see new homes built over the next two years. This takes the contracted spend with local firms to almost £9m with agreements to build 48 new homes within the last 12 months, following contracts with R Clouston Ltd and WRC Construction announced last July.
In announcing the new homes, OHAL chief executive Craig Spence, said: “Everyone in our community can feel the real and ongoing need for affordable housing to meet the needs of people living and working in Orkney. Once again, it is great that we can work with another excellent local construction firm providing important jobs and apprenticeships.”
He paid credit to his colleague, adding: “Our development & properties manager, Richard Flett has done some tremendous work in collaboration with Orkney Builders to pull these projects and the finance together so that we can make good progress through this summer.”
Richard explained: “There is always an appetite from local firms to build quality housing for us and our tenants. We know the high energy efficiency and craftsmanship that Orkney Builders and others work to, and I am sure that the tenants and owners of these affordable houses will really enjoy living in them.
Stephen Kemp, managing director of Orkney Builders, commented: “We deliver projects of all sizes and scales in Orkney, but building quality affordable housing is key to us. These contracts help us create new sustainable jobs and apprenticeships, and having Walliwall has enabled us to employ another four apprentices this year alone, taking us to a total of seventeen apprentices at present. Also very importantly, Orkney Housing Association’s developments help meet local people’s housing needs and help folk in our Community – and being part of that effort is really important to us too.”
Mr Spence outlined that there will be 22 new homes available for rent, but also six new build properties to purchase through a New Supply Shared Equity scheme.
He said: “Our main focus is rented homes, but I am very aware of the challenges local first-time buyers and others are facing in the current market, so am delighted that we will have these homes available to part-buy also.”
The work at Walliwall, Kirkwall has commenced and is scheduled for completion by Spring 2023. The projects are part-funded by the Scottish Government Affordable Homes Supply Programme (AHSP).