The first set of affordable homes are being constructed to bring a new lease of life to an island in the Inner Hebrides of Scotland. Colonsay, an island in the Inner Hebrides of Scotland, is due to receive nine new affordable homes after it has been previously filled with an increasing number of holiday and second properties, failing to provide stable environment for locals.
However, the nine homes set to be built is just the first phase of the project, with properties available for rent and to buy. The two properties – a two-bedroom and a three-bedroom house – will be on sale for £125K and £140K and it has been proposed to make four two-to-three-bedroom homes available for rent between £450 and £500 a month.
Colonsay Community Development Company (CCDC) is leading the project with support from the Communities Housing Trust. The new homes will be located close to the ferry terminal on the island and are expected to be complete in the autumn.
Islanders who have moved away from Colonsay but wish to return will be given priority for the properties, but it is also hoped new residents will apply and help boost the population that currently stands at 125 people. As well as building new homes, planning permission has also been granted for two new community-owned commercial units that will come in the form of a workshop or studio space to help existing businesses grow or new ones to launch.
Applications are now open for all properties, with a deadline of 19th March for houses to buy and 2nd July for the rental properties. Dannie Onn, Director of CCDC, said, “CCDC is looking forward to housing for homeless folk and welcoming new people and families to this beautiful island.”
“We hope they will be part of a fresh impetus for building opportunities for work and life here as part of a sustainable community. It has taken a while to get here, but the legal and financial incentives put in place by the Scottish government to promote sustainable, self-reliant communities on the Scottish island looks to be paying off in Colonsay.”
The properties currently on the island are mainly comprised of holiday or second homes, which have faced major difficulties across the UK since authorities decided to increase the amount of council tax paid on them to help struggling councils and address the current housing shortage. Second homes in Exeter and Bristol are some the most recent to face extra council tax billing.