The Hebridean Housing Partnership have unveiled plans for over 100 new properties, mainly in Stornoway, after recently purchasing three parcels of land to continue with their housebuilding programme.
It is expected that the next phase of their strategy, to start after 2018, will be funded in partnership between the Scottish Government, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar and HHP, although no funding package has yet been agreed.
In recent weeks, HHP negotiated the takeover of land at Goathill Farm in Stornoway and at Melbost Farm in Parkend, where they are currently in the process of building 32 new houses. Other land has been secured in Horgabost, Harris.
John MacIver, director of operations at HHP, said: “We are currently in the process of building 50 new homes from the Butt to Barra and we have a further 40 which will keep us going until 2018.”
Mr MacIver said while they had made some inroads in reducing waiting lists in the islands, there was still a constant demand. “If we didn’t have a need for new houses, we wouldn’t build them,” he said. “It’s as simple as that.”
HHP board member Norman MacLeod, who is also a councillor, said the building of new houses in the public sector was vital for the local economy as it provided work in the construction sector.
Meanwhile, HHP will hold a forum for tenants in Lewis and Harris tomorrow (Friday) where they will be able meet the organisation’s staff on a face-to-face basis to discuss a range of issues. The drop-in session will be held at Stornoway Town Hall between 12 and 2pm.
HHP chair David Blaney said “This is a great opportunity for tenants to see what HHP are doing and to give their views on our services in an informal setting. Tenants can come when they can manage and leave when they want.
“The emphasis is on informality. I would urge people to attend as we are currently working to finalise our plans for improvement works to tenants’ homes for 2015-2019. We want to hear tenants’ views on their properties”