TENANTS are expected to move into Lerwick’s latest social housing development on Fort Road shortly as work on a £3.2 million project at the former Met Office site above Sound progresses ahead of completion later this year.
Scottish minister for local government and housing Kevin Stewart visited both Hjaltland Housing Association (HHA) sites last week while in Shetland for a Convention of the Highlands and Islands meeting.
The Scottish Government has invested £3 million into both projects, with the Met Office development due to house 70 people in a mixture of one-bedroom flats and two/three bedroom houses once it is completed in October.
It is expected that keys will shortly be given to new residents at the £1.7 million Lyndhurst Place development on Fort Road, the location of the former Shetland Islands Council housing offices.
It features seven one-person flats and five one-bedroom flats suitable for two people.
HHA chairman Bobby Hunter said the government-backed developments would be of “great help in tackling the well-documented” shortage of housing in Shetland.
“We were pleased to be able to host the minister so he could see for himself the high quality of design and build – and to brief him on planned future development and the blockages that will impact on this,” he said.
Stewart added that the government is in a strong position to help regions like the Highlands and Islands through two specific funding pots.
“I’m clear that rural and island communities must take the opportunity that is available, and use our £25 million rural housing fund and £5 million islands housing fund,” he said.
“These both offer a new dimension to the existing publicly funded housing system and will increase the supply of good quality affordable housing in rural and island communities just like these new homes.”
HHA is also currently working on 11 units at Burnbank/Hill Grind in Lerwick, while the construction of four houses on Scalloway’s Gibblestone Road and 16 homes at Gaet-a-Gott in Tingwall should get under way soon.
In addition, a masterplan for nearly 300 houses at Lerwick’s Staney Hill has nearly been completed, with HHA hoping to be on site in 2018 before undertaking over ten years of work.
As previously reported, HHA has also lodged plans to create 27 flats on Lerwick’s King Harald Street, with some of the proposed units to be purpose-made for people with conditions like dementia.
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