Construction of our long-awaited affordable housing, health and business development started in August 2020, and is expected to be completed in October 2021.
Six three-bedroom houses, a new health centre and two business premises will be built on croft land previously owned by the Scottish Ministers and tenanted by Stenscholl township, close to Sgoil Stafainn.
It will be the first affordable housing development in Staffin for 22 years, will see our area’s present health clinic - the Nurse's Cottage - replaced by a modern facility and provide much needed business space.
It will be the biggest capital project SCT is involved in to date, at a cost of £1.6million with significant Scottish Government support. It is the first time SCT has purchased land and also the first time a housing development has been built on a common grazings in Staffin. It is a peaty, agriculturally poor piece of ground and SCT was keen to avoid the loss of better quality in-bye croft land in the district.
The Staffin community has suffered population decline in the last two decades, with a drastic shortage of accommodation for younger people and families and an over heated property market, which is out of reach for them. SCT is hopeful the new housing will help increase Bun Sgoil Stafainn’s pupil roll and ensure the community’s long-term sustainability.
On August 3 2021, Staffin Community Trust invited applications for its two houses at the site - 4 and 7 Taighean a' Chaisheil, Stenscholl.
To avoid any potential conflict of interest in managing the allocation of the new homes, the SCT board and staff will not be involved in the process.
SCT’s agents, CHT, will manage that process by using an Allocations Policy designed to support its aims of delivering quality housing locally. There will be a focus on families and people with connections to Staffin.
CHT is a vastly experienced housing enabler having worked with rural communities across the Highlands and Islands for three decades. It is currently processing applications for its own two houses at the site, which are for discounted sale.
Anybody interested in applying for the SCT houses can apply through the Communities Housing Trust website: www.chtrust.co.uk/current-opportunities or by contacting staff for a hardcopy on 01463 233 548.
SCT and its partners have worked on developing this project since 2014.
The Highland Council and Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) had funded a housing needs report, which identified a clear demand locally for new homes.
The project has involved dozens of meetings, a considerable amount of research including valuable visits to other West Highland communities, funding applications, lobbying and consultation events. You can see the community and political support from a short film made for our Crowdfunding campaign, see below. This video was produced by Hugh Campbell Marketing and helped SCT raise more than £7,000 for the project. See our crowdfunder film here
SCT already has 20 families and individuals who have expressed an interest in the homes which illustrates the demand.
The main funders are :
- Scottish Land Fund
- Rural Housing Fund
- Ecology Building Society
- Highlands and Islands Enterprise
- SSE Sustainable Development Fund
- the Quaker Housing Trust
- Donation from Gaelic singer Alasdair Gillies