16 New affordable homes to be built in the City of Inverness
The Highland Housing Alliance has announced it has signed a contract to build sixteen new homes at Inverness’ Raining’s Stairs, bringing much needed affordable housing to local people and families and reinvigorating a brownfield area of the City. The first phase began on site on 5 June 2017 with completion due by Summer 2018.
The Raining’s Stairs development is being built in partnership with the Highland Housing Alliance, The Highland Council, Ark Estates and William Gray Construction Ltd with funding from the Scottish Government as part of the City-Region Deal.
The City-Region Deal business case was approved on 25 May 2017 which releases £5m funding from the Scottish Government for affordable housing across the Highlands. This pan Highland project will include the development of a package of support to increase the availability of affordable housing for young people led by The Highland Council.
This development will comprise sixteen, one and two bedroom flats. Six flats will be available at an affordable rent from The Highland Council and ten flats will be available at a mid-market rent from the Highland Housing Alliance as part of the affordable housing project. The development will also include a commercial unit, suitable for use as an office or retail space.
The apartments will be named after the adjacent Raining’s Stairs, located within Inverness City Centre. Raining’s Stairs originally served Raining’s School which opened at the top of the stairs in 1747. The Stairs were named after the school’s founder, John Raining, and connect the Crown area to the City centre.
The configuration of the homes will feature 16 apartments built in three staged sections which flow to create a single contemporary development. It will also feature an attractive residents walkway with landscaping and planting, with a natural stone wall and vertical timber cladding around the buildings. Secure cycle storage features for each building and located behind the commercial unit.
Highland Housing Alliance Chief Executive Gail Matheson commented: “The role of the Highland Housing Alliance is to facilitate and deliver additional good quality housing in the Highlands with a wide range of private and public sector partners, which has been achieved in this iconic development.
“Following the success of the Academy Street development, we are proud to announce we have signed a contract with our partners Wm Gray Construction Ltd which will see 16 homes being delivered for both HHA and The Highland Council. The Raining’s Stairs development will regenerate the area, building 16 new flats for rent to local people and families. The inclusion of a ground floor commercial unit will offer a local business opportunity further enhancing the area.”
Highland Council Leader, Cllr Margaret Davidson, welcomed the sixteen new homes at Inverness’ Raining’s Stairs. She said: "Highland Council and partners are breathing new life back into Inverness city centre. Affordable housing is essential across the Highlands and it is fantastic to see this new development taking place at a key location in Inverness. The City-Region Deal money will see similar projects provide much needed affordable housing across the Highland region."
William Gray, Managing Director of William Gray Construction and Ark Estates, said: “We are delighted to be continuing our partnership with Highland Council and the Highland Housing Alliance after successfully delivering the Academy Street development. This is a part of the city which is crying out for regeneration and we are proud to be helping bring that about at the same time as providing much needed high quality affordable rental housing.”
The Highland Housing Alliance (HHA) is a not-for-profit development company that builds private houses for sale and rent and facilitates affordable housing for families and people living in Highland communities. The company handles the management and maintenance of HHA rented homes. Further information from www.highlandhousingalliance.com
The City-Region Deal is worth £315 million of investment and is made up of a portfolio of projects to deliver inclusive economic growth. A key component of this inclusive economic this is the affordable housing project. This affordable housing is being partly funded by £5m of Scottish Government funding to deliver mid-market rental properties. The first development will be 10 properties, built as part of the Raining’s Stairs regeneration project in the centre of Inverness.