Minister opens Kingdom’s latest prestigious affordable housing project
Kingdom Housing Association has marked the completion of 65 new affordable homes for Mid Market Rent at Pittencrieff Street, Dunfermline.
A number of guests attended the event which was officiated by the housing and welfare minister Margaret Burgess MSP, who opened the new project and unveiled a plaque to mark the occasion. Guests were given a chance to view the newly completed homes and meet some of the new tenants.
Charles Milne, Kingdom’s chairperson welcomed the minister, invited her to unveil the plaque and introduced the official party. Mr Milne referred to the recently published Commission for Housing and Welfare Report and highlighted the importance of the need for increased investment in affordable housing provision and the contribution that affordable housing can make to the recommendations in the report.
The housing and welfare minister, Margaret Burgess MSP said: “The Scottish Government has contributed £1.885 million to assist in the construction of this development in Dunfermline.
“These properties have been constructed to a high standard with good access to the town centre. I am sure these flats will provide a warm and welcoming home for the tenants who move in to them.
“This government recognises the importance in providing affordable housing, and is well on the way to meeting its commitment to provide 30,000 affordable houses within the lifetime of this parliament.
“Part of that commitment has been to support the provision of homes for mid-market rent, aimed at those who would not otherwise be able to obtain social rented housing, but who can afford an intermediate rent.”
The minister was joined by the official party, including Charles Milne, Kingdom’s chairperson, Martyn Evans, CEO Carnegie UK Trust; Councillor Judy Hamilton, Fife Council’s executive spokesperson for housing and building services and David Little, chairperson of Kingdom’s subsidiary, Kingdom Initiatives.
The project provides a mix of 2 and 3 bedroom apartments which have been built with modern living in mind and have helped meet the high housing demand for Mid Market Rent accommodation in the area.
The completed homes have been leased to Kingdom’s subsidiary, Kingdom Initiatives, who will let and manage the tenancies. David Little, chairperson with Kingdom Initiatives, spoke about the successful partnership arrangements and gave details on the profiles of the tenants who have been allocated the new homes.
Mr Little said: “Kingdom will have developed around 230 mid market rented homes by the end of this year and we are finding there is an exceptionally high demand for quality affordable housing projects of this type and tenure, from the priority applicants.”
Martyn Evans, chief executive officer with the Carnegie UK Trust and chair of the Fairer Fife Commission spoke about the work of the Carnegie UK Trust and Andrew Carnegie, who gifted the nearby Pittencrieff Park to the people of Dunfermline and how he felt affordable housing provision was helping to reduce poverty and address equality issues.
Mr Evans also spoke about the benefits of collaborative working and said: “Housing associations have forged funding partnerships, development partnerships, design partnerships and most of all tenant partnerships.”
The £6.2m project, developed by Kingdom, was delivered in partnership with Fife Council and £2.1m subsidy was received from the Scottish Government and Fife Council to assist the funding of the project.
Councillor Judy Hamilton updated the guests on the progress with the Fife Affordable Housing Programme to deliver 2700 by March 2017, confirming that the programme was on target and the Pittencrieff Street project was the 1000th unit completion as part of the programme.
Councillor Hamilton said: “We are now well on our way to delivering our target of affordable housing in Fife. These particular houses are in high demand which shows the real need for quality, affordable houses in the Kingdom. Alongside our partners, we will continue to work with local communities to find the best housing solutions for their area.”
In addition to providing much needed affordable housing, the project has allowed various community initiatives to be delivered including; apprenticeships, employment and training initiatives, school projects and the provision of a play area.
Peter Bell, managing director with local Fife developer, Campion Homes, who completed the project for Kingdom as part of a design and build contract, said he was “very pleased with the completed development and the opportunities it gave them to delivery community benefits”.
The project has been designed as a prestigious gateway project and designed to a very high specification and energy efficient standards. The project has achieved Secured by Design accreditation, the official UK Police Initiative supporting the principles of designing out crime. Police Scotland attended the ceremony and Inspector Ian Flynn, Dunfermline Community Inspector presented the Secured by Design certificates to Kingdom, Campion and Oliver and Robb Architects.
Charles Milne, Kingdom’s chairperson, said: “We were very proud of our achievements however we are not complacent as we remain driven to contribute, in ever increasing numbers, to the many homes which 150,000 Scottish families so badly need.”
Mr Milne thanked the speakers; the partners involved in the project and hoped the tenants enjoyed their new homes.