Rowarden Affordable Housing Project, Press Release
Press Release on behalf of The Arran Development Trust - Rowarden Affordable Housing Project, Lamlash, Isle of Arran
16th January 2023
The biggest and boldest Affordable Housing Project on the Scottish Islands, involving Private, Public and Community funds was announced today for the Rowarden Affordable Housing Project by The Arran Development Trust. The project has now secured all the necessary funding and signed legal documentation to start “the big build.” Construction preparatory work has now begun, and the first spade will be in the ground in early March 2023. The project will take between 14 & 18 months to complete.
The Rowarden Affordable Housing Project will be the first affordable housing on the island constructed by the Arran community in response to the lack of affordable housing crisis. It is also one of the boldest and largest affordable housing projects undertaken by a community organisation in Scotland. The project will provide a very welcome and much needed 18 x 1, 2 & 3 Bedroom Homes. Rents will be charged at Local Authority Housing Allowance Level, ensuring they are affordable for all.
The Rowarden project has suffered a delay of around 2+ years due to the Covid pandemic but has been supported both financially and emotionally by the ADT Board, membership and the many consultants and contractors who believed passionately in the positive impact and measurable difference it would make to the local community.
Finance for the project has been provided by the Rural & Islands Housing Fund (£1.512m) and Crowdproperty Finance (£2.1m).
Commenting Tom Tracey (Chairman of the ADT) said -
“This is an excellent example of public, private and community working together to the mutual benefit of all. It would not have happened without the perseverance of our small Island team and the support and patience of our service providers. These homes will make the difference between working families staying on the Island or being forced to leave. Unfortunately, we need many more. This must be the start of a process to fix our chronic lack of affordable housing, and not the end of it.
It has taken us five years to get to this point. We learned a lot in that time. Mainly, how things could be improved between Island Communities and the Public and Private sector. Similar learnings will have come from similar work on Mull, Colonsay and Gigha. We will come together to understand best practice and recommend changes on how funds are administered. Hopefully, we will do this with the support of Highland and Islands Enterprise and the Islands Team.
Eighteen affordable homes will change the lives of eighteen working families on Arran. This will be a major achievement. However, the big prize is the creation of a new and better public/private process to deliver more affordable homes on Arran and other Island communities. Today is a significant milestone on that journey.”
Commenting Scottish Government, Rural & Islands Housing Fund, Housing Secretary Shona Robison said -
“It’s great to hear that work will start imminently on this project on Arran. The Scottish Government’s Rural and Islands Housing Fund has supported the Arran Development Trust since 2019 for them to identify a suitable site. Our financial support of over £1.5 million has enabled the project to proceed and these homes will provide great benefit to the local community and make a real and lasting difference to the lives of the new residents.
These homes will support our commitment to deliver 110,000 affordable homes by 2032, of which at least 70% will be for social rent and 10% in remote, rural and island communities. This reinforces the importance we place on the role of affordable housing in rural and island communities, with record levels of funding made available and a commitment to publish a Remote, Rural and Islands Housing Action Plan to help attract and retain people in these communities.”
Commenting CrowdProperty said -
“The national shortage of housing supply is all the greater in more remote locations such as this, with affordable housing provision particularly lacking. CrowdProperty is delighted to support this much-needed affordable housing project - we look forward to seeing this project progress and hope to support many more such worthy initiatives.
As property finance by property people, our specialist team of property experts are able look at the fundamentals of a development project, focus on what is most important to developers and provide funding that others, with inflexible credit policies and lacking property expertise, cannot.
CrowdProperty’s underwriting process combines market-leading data and years of real-world, on-the-ground property development experience that ensures a depth of understanding of what the developer is trying to achieve, no matter how complex. We are dedicated to supporting passionate property developers with their funding needs, through the good times and the bad.”
Commenting Quantum Solutions, Kilmarnock said -
“Quantum Solutions has supported Arran Development Trust (ADT) and the Rowarden Affordable Housing project at every step of the way over the last 5 years, providing key Project Management and Quantity Surveying services.
We have worked very closely with the ADT and key consultants in an innovative and collaborative way to identify a competitive, economic solution capable of taking the project forward. We’re excited to share that the project will now be commencing on-site in March 2023 and as Construction Manager for the development, we are very motivated to see the project move forward.
Over the last 10 years, Quantum has been a key partner to a variety of clients developing multiple high-profile developments on the Isle of Arran. Arran is a special place, and we are excited to see this partnership grow and become stronger in the years ahead!”
Commenting Denham Youd, Ayr said -
“It has been an honour to be able to support the Rowarden Affordable Housing project as it provides an opportunity to make a real difference to the lives of key workers on Arran. From the outset the client team were clear they needed a design solution which had a distinct identity and responded to buildability issues on the island. In doing so we believe this development will create an example which can be repeated on Arran and elsewhere across Scotland’s rural communities. As the project moves into the next chapter we wish the Arran Development Trust every success, and look forward to helping deliver these new vital new homes.”
The Arran Development Trust is a community membership organisation of 400 + members representing approximately 10% of the Arran population. It is a company limited by guarantee (SC553739), a registered charity (SC048480) and a registered Rural Housing Body (172).
16th January 2023