Hjaltland Housing Association continue to invest in new housing to meet the needs of Shetland communities.

April 3rd 2018

Hjaltland Housing Association is delighted to announce that it has recently completed 11 new homes in its scheme at Hill Grind in Lerwick with tenants in the process of moving in. They have also awarded contracts for the construction of a further 24 units in Tingwall and 27 in Lerwick. The commitment to these projects results in a total investment of £10.4 million in the local economy with £6.8m in grant provided by the Scottish Government and £3.6m of private finance.

Housing Minister Kevin Stewart said, “I am delighted to see these high quality, affordable new homes, supported with over £6.5 million Scottish Government funding. It highlights the importance of partnership working between the Housing Association, Shetland Islands Council and the Scottish Government to ensure we deliver the right homes, in the right places, for both individuals and communities. “Scotland’s islands make a huge contribution to Scottish life but we know people living there can face challenges when it comes to accessing the home they want. That is why we have introduced dedicated £5 million Islands Housing Fund, to supplement the £25 million Rural Housing Fund, which will increase the supply of good quality affordable housing and help to attract and retain people in our islands.

“We are committed to delivering at least 50,000 affordable homes across Scotland over the course of this Parliament. By providing higher than average grant rates to these developments, along with our dedicated support for Islands housing, we are demonstrating our commitment to delivering the right type of affordable housing in locations where it is most needed.”

Hjaltland Chief Executive Bryan Leask said, “These three projects are part of the Associations ongoing drive to help meet the housing needs of Shetlands communities. They will also provide a welcome economic boost to local contractors and the wider supply chain. We do however understand that there is still more to do and were delighted when our masterplan for Staneyhill was recently adopted as council policy. It is early on in the design process for our Staneyhill project but it shows the long term commitment we have to helping house the people of Shetland”.

The 11 new homes at Hill Grind in Lerwick were built by DITT Construction Ltd who recently handed them over to the Association and results in the provision of:

  • Five - 2 person properties
  • Three - 3 person houses
  • Two - 4 person houses
  • One – 6 person house

Head of Investment for Hjaltland Paul Leask said, “This £1.8 million pound project was completed on time, to a very high standard, and within budget. The properties were designed by Ian Irvine from local architectural firm PJP Architects with engineering design from Mott MacDonald. The site was provided by the Shetland Islands Council as part of the successful partnership we have with them in providing new homes and bringing new investment into the islands. This project is the Associations second phase on this site and supplements the 26 homes completed in 2015.”

The Association has also signed a contract recently with E&H Building Contractors for an additional 24 homes next to its scheme at Gaet-A-Gott in Tingwall. This £4m project will result in the provision of:

  • Twelve - 2 person flats
  • Six – 3 person houses
  • Two – 4 person houses
  • Two – 5 person houses
  • Two – 6 person houses

This project is in addition to the Associations previous contract for 16 units and next to its existing scheme at Gaet-A-Gott with design work completed by Gareth Elphinstone of Visio Architecture. Bryan Leask said, “We are delighted to be on site with the last phase of the site at Gaet-A-Gott which is a great example of a mixed tenure scheme, having made provision in total for, 68 rental units, 12 low cost home ownership properties, 5 private sites and the potential for a new children’s home. This is yet another example of the Association working in partnership with other agencies to meet the needs of our communities'.

The six properties available for low cost home ownership as part of this phase will be advertised in the spring of next year with overall completion expected in the winter of 2019.

Work will also be starting shortly on the Association's King Harald Street project with DITT Construction recently winning the tender to build 27 new flats on a site opposite Islesburgh Community Centre. Karen Manson from PJP Architects designed the scheme with engineering design by Neil Pearson at Mott MacDonald. Paul Leask said, “The site was gifted to the Association by the Shetland Islands Council as part of our joint effort to tackle the housing shortage in Shetland. It is a very prominent site within the new town conservation area and as such early engagement with the planners was essential to ensure we could come up with an appropriate design. I think Karen has done an excellent job and it will be great to see what has been a derelict site for a number of years providing much needed homes for the people of Shetland”.

This project is due for completion in the spring of 2020.