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The first social housing to be built in North Roe for almost thirty years has welcomed the first tenants. The two home development, named Anniesland, has been built as part of the Rural Homes for Rent Scheme, a Scottish Government pilot scheme to help provide social housing in rural areas of Scotland. Both houses were completed on schedule thanks to local contractors, Shetland Construction and Developments Ltd.
Anniesland is a joint venture between the Scottish Government and local landowner, Drew Cromarty of Lochend and means that families can access rural housing at affordable rental prices. Both houses were completed almost three years after the initial expression of interest to the Scottish Government.
Back in July 2008 the Scottish Government received 67 initial expressions of interest from landowners and following assessment, applications were short listed to 49. Applicants were then invited to submit detailed proposals, of which 25 were received. Mr Cromarty has worked closely with the Northmavine Community Development Company (NCDC) on this proposal and staff at the community-led company compiled the grant submissions.
The scheme was over-subscribed, and the Scottish Government could not support all £11 million of applications within the available budget of £5 million. The detailed submissions were then subject to an assessment by the Scottish Government in consultation with the relevant local authorities. Two submissions were received from Shetland, with only the North Roe proposal finally being successful.
The Northmavine Community Development Company (NCDC) is the leasing agent for the three bedroom, five person properties and this will generate income for the NCDC to be used for the benefit of Northmavine. The properties are rented as part of a local lettings initiative, with priority will be given to families with young children who wish to remain in, or move to, North Roe.
Although education standards at North Roe Primary School are second to none, a lack of young families and family accommodation in the area has seen the school role drop over the past few years and the school has recently survived the threat of closure. It is hoped that this increase in affordable family homes will encourage families with young children to remain or move into North Roe and help keep the community alive.