RURAL HOUSING: Tenants being sought for new Isle of Skye houses 

New houses are being built in Kyleakin

New rented houses in Kyleakin in south Skye are still to be allocated to tenants because locals “don’t think they have a chance” of getting one, the chief executive of Lochalsh and Skye Housing Association has claimed.

Neil Clapperton also confirmed that in order to fund the 28-house development next to the village football pitch, and two other projects in Broadford and Portree, LSHA had to borrow £6.6 million through the Scottish Government’s charitable bonds loan scheme.

There are five Kyleakin houses left to allocate, Mr Clapperton said.

He told the Free Press: “We are still allocating some properties in Kyleakin, and normally it wouldn’t take this long.

“We don’t believe it is due to lack of housing need. One issue is that local people don’t apply because they don’t think they have a chance, or some because the timing isn’t right for them.

“If the latter is true we want them to think about making the time right.

“For those that don’t apply, it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy.

“Employers in the area could help by making sure that their employees in temporary or poor accommodation apply to the Highland Housing Register.

“If they are recruiting, speak to us about opportunities for housing. Employees or applicants can do it on line, and it doesn’t take long.

“This is a big development for the island, and it could be life changing.  But we need those that want and need a new home to get in touch.

“All our houses are built with a combination of grant assistance and borrowings from banks or bonds, roughly equal proportions. However, this has no impact on allocations.”

In response to reports that the housing association was having difficulty letting mid-market rentals because prospective tenants couldn’t afford the rent, Mr Clapperton said: “They are all social rent properties, so the rents are well below mid and full market prices.”

In February, the Scottish Government announced that the charitable bond scheme was to provide loans totalling £105 million to “boost the number of  affordable homes” in Scotland.

It is administered by UK charity Allia, which has been a “pioneer in social investment innovation” since 1999.