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Housing / Housing association finishes 18 new homes

One of the new houses in Gulberwick. Photo: Hjaltland Housing Association

EIGHTEEN new homes were recently completed by Hjaltland Housing Association in Gulberwick and Lerwick as part of projects worth a total of £3.8 million.

Demand for both of the social housing schemes has been high, with 98 expressions of interest for example in the six new homes at Wista in Lerwick.

Over in Heathery Park in Gulberwick 12 new homes have been built.

The two projects have been completed with the support of the Shetland Islands Council and the Scottish Government, in addition to private finance secured from the Bank of Scotland.

Head of housing Ian Bray said the association understands there will be many disappointed people who missed out on the new schemes, but it will continue its development programme to “address the shortage of affordable accommodation throughout Shetland”.

He added: “Affordable housing is much more than just bricks and mortar, or in this case Siberian larch, as it helps alleviate the key issues of poverty and inequality that do exist within our communities.”

Head of investment Paul Leask added: “We understand that it is really difficult at the moment for many people within our community to get houses, and whilst the last couple of years have been challenging, we have been working hard to bring projects like these to completion.

“We are currently onsite with projects in Scalloway and Brae and have plans for more housing in Aith, Walls and Lerwick which will help meet the very high demand for housing in our communities.”

Some of the housing at Wista in Lerwick. Photo: Hjaltland Housing Association

The six new properties at Wista in Lerwick were designed by Née Gibson Architects and Mott MacDonald Engineers, and were built by David Smith Building Contractor.

The £1.2 million project resulted in four two-person flats and two four-person houses being added to the association’s existing scheme and was supported with £850,000 in Scottish Government grant funding. All properties are rental, and keys were handed out to new tenants earlier this week.

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Née Gibson Architects director Adrian Wishart said: “As designers we always look to ensure buildings sit within their landscape and this was a challenge with a small site with what are now probably the highest buildings in Lerwick.

“The six new homes complement the existing properties at Wista, and we are delighted with the finished product, especially as they were constructed during the extremely difficult two years of the pandemic.”

Meanwhile the twelve new homes at Heathery Park in Gulberwick were designed and built by DITT based on the “home-zone principle” where shared surfaces are used to soften the hard landscaping in the scheme.

There are four detached five-person houses, four two-person flats and four three-person flats within the scheme.

The £2.6 million project will supplement the association’s existing scheme at North Heathery Park and was supported by a Scottish Government grant of £1.73 million through its affordable housing supply programme.

DITT site agent Stuart Hughes said: “After a challenging few years due to Covid and other world events we’re delighted to have completed this project.

“The twelve new properties are finished to a high standard and the central shared surface area ties the whole scheme together. I’m thankful to all involved for the hard work which has been put into the project. We wish the new tenants all the best in their new homes.”

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