Address Highlands Small Communities Housing Trust, 5 Ardross Terrace, Inverness IV3 5NQ, Scotland, UK
Telephone: 01463 233549 Fax: 01463 233549
The Highlands Small Communities Housing Trust (HSCHT) is keen to help businesses across the north develop by helping them provide affordable housing options for employees.
The not-for-profit charitable housing trust dedicates its efforts towards facilitating projects in villages and hamlets thanks to innovative new schemes for providing affordable homes. HSCHT already has almost 20 properties which are let out mainly to key workers in small communities. This year it is involved in the building of 45 houses scattered on dozens of separate sites.
HSCHT is eager to work with more businesses in away that could strengthen the economy by allowing companies to grow .
By helping rural communities meet their needs for additional affordable housing HSCHT plays an important role in actively supporting the viability of each area and helping to strengthen the growth ambitions of companies. Although it is based in Inverness, HSCHT does not work or have any housing in the city , with its extensive land bank of around 28 sites situated in rural communities throughout the region, including self build plots available to sell to local people at a discounted price, to enable them to remain in their community rather than being forced to move away due to alack of suitable housing. The HSCHT works with a range of partners including landowners, the Forestry Commission, Highland Council, Housing Associations and others to source and secure land.
A project being developed in Lochaline has seen the HSCHT facilitate and part fund a lease scheme over 21 years to allow two new-build homes to be used for affordable housing before they are handed over to the landowner .Similar property schemes could be available for other businesses, even if they do not currently own land.
Working with Scottish Government, HSCHT have also piloted an innovative shared equity scheme based entirely on loan, where clients can buy their house in five years time for a price fixed now and is at least 20 per cent below today’s market prices, and they then receive a considerable element of their five years of rental payments (set affordably at local housing allowance levels) as a cash-back, so it works similar to a savings scheme in effect and can assist towards a deposit.
Established in 1998, HSCHT has a six strong team keen to help rural communities secure long term solutions to their local housing needs by representing their interests, as well as those of local government, landowners, crofters and housing associations. It receives funding from a variety of sources including the Scottish Government and various charitable trusts and foundations in addition to its own income from housing development work and other fee-earning business activities.
Landowners and community groups have the opportunity to release land to HSCHT safe in the knowledge that the Rural Housing Burden protects the homes built from being sold at exorbitant rates as holiday homes and that they will remain in the community in perpetuity at a discounted rate.
What the Trust does at a glance
- Assess local community housing needs
- Find and buy sites for affordable rural housing development
- Develop innovative solutions to address community housing needs
- Create serviced house plots and sell them at a discount to local people
- Build highly sustainable affordable homes
- Assist landowners and community groups
- Buy ,improve and rent properties for key workers
- Provide practical advice and assistance to organisations, businesses and communities
As you visit ‘Highlands Small Communities Housing Trust’, you may find interest in following listings . . .