The Highland Housing Alliance announces 48 NHT homes for Westercraigs

The Highland Housing Alliance (HHA) has completed the first 12 homes of a 48 house National Housing Trust (NHT) development in Westercraigs near Inverness.  The handover of the homes to the first tenants is scheduled for the end March 2015.The development will complete in September 2015 bringing more affordable housing to people and families in the Inverness area. 

The Westercraigs homes are being built in conjunction with the Highland Housing Alliance, the Scottish Futures Trust, The Highland Council and Robertson Homes, under the highly successful National Housing Trust initiative.  

Developed by the Scottish Government and the Scottish Futures Trust, the NHT initiative is supported by a Scottish Government guarantee and is designed to create more new homes, available at a mid-market rent, in areas where there is demand for housing.  For the first five years, the homes will be rented at a mid-market rent and after 5 years the tenant will have the option to purchase the property.  In some circumstances, the tenant will have up to the 10th year to purchase. 

The Westercraigs development comprises two bedroom flats and two and three bedroom houses with a family sized garden. All homes feature fitted carpets, blinds, an oven, hob, extractor unit, a washing machine and a fridge freezer.  The homes are constructed from high quality, modern materials and are designed with good levels of insulation. 

Gail Matheson, Chief Executive of the Highland Housing Alliance said: “Announcing the completion of the first 12 of 48 new homes today, is great news for people living in the Westercraigs area of Inverness who are aiming to get a foot on the property ladder.  

“This is the third round of the National Housing Trust homes that the Highland Housing Alliance have been involved with.  A total of 87 NHT homes have now been delivered by the Highland Housing Alliance on top of the Westercraigs development. Demand for similar properties remains high and our waiting list is open for those who would like to register their interest.  

“The NHT project has boosted the provision of good quality new homes in Inverness and the surrounding areas, bringing much needed rental accommodation with the option to buy to local families. The project allows people to rent properties on short assured tenancies for a minimum period of 5 years, at a mid-market rent after which tenants can buy their homes. It is a very popular option as it gives people time to save for a mortgage deposit, one of the main stumbling blocks in securing finance.”  

Christa Reekie, commercial director at SFT, explained:  “Highland Council has fully embraced the National Housing Trust initiative with contracts signed to build a total of 167 homes across 10 sites in the Highlands alone.  

“Today’s announcement brings the total number of completed NHT homes in the Highlands to 108.  The new tenants moving into the excellent new houses in Westercraigs will not only be paying lower rent, but will benefit from homes that have been designed and built to a high standard.”  

Housing Minister Margaret Burgess said: “NHT was the first guarantee-based model for housing in the UK. It broke new ground and is easing housing pressures whilst supporting jobs in the construction industry and wider economy.  

“The Highland Housing Alliance and Highland Council are to be congratulated for delivering high quality affordable homes in Inverness for local people. The NHT initiative is well on track to deliver over 2,000 much-needed new homes in communities across the country, all without the need for grant subsidy.   

“Backed by funding of £1.7 billion, the Scottish Government is doing everything possible to maximise our investment in housing and deliver our target of 30,000 new, affordable homes over the lifetime of this Parliament."  

Councillor Thomas Prag, Chairman of The Highland Council’s Planning, Development and Infrastructure Committee said: “This innovative new tenure of houses turns a dream into a reality for many families to own their own home.  These new houses are a welcome addition to Inverness and I look forward to more becoming available in the near future.”  

The Highland Housing Alliance (HHA) is a not-for-profit development company that builds private houses 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

1 Apr 2015