Greater provision of student accommodation is one of the aims of The Hebridean Housing Partnership (HHP) which has approved its spending plans for the next five years (2015-2020).
The decision was made at the meeting of the HHP Board on 2nd September 2015.
After the Board meeting David Blaney, Chair of HHP said that he is very pleased to announce that HHP’s Board is committed to a strategy of growth following a successful negotiation with its funder the Royal Bank of Scotland to increase its funding facility from £10 million to £15 million.
Mr Blaney said “HHP has invested a total of £55 million in existing housing and new housing developments throughout the islands since Comhairle nan Eilean Siar transferred its housing stock in 2006. We are now entering a new investment phase.
"Whilst HHP will continue to give priority in meeting the needs of its housing stock by spending £20 million over the next five year period on heating upgrades, windows, doors, new kitchens and bathrooms we will also work with our key partners the Scottish Government and the Comhairle to deliver 30 new houses per annum over the same period. Housing services will continue to be our main focus.
"However HHP is also looking to diversify into related areas of activity and is engaging with interested local parties to develop student accommodation in the Western Isles.”
Dena Macleod HHP’s Director of Resources who negotiated the terms of the new funding facility with RBS on behalf of HHP said “It is very encouraging that RBS has confidence in the future of HHP to agree an increase in the level of funding being made available to support the growth of our core business and also new housing related activities.
"New investment will make an impact on meeting the housing needs of our communities and also make a very positive contribution to the Western Isles economy”.
Ian Sillars, Head of Housing Finance Scotland, Commercial and Private Banking, said: "RBS is delighted to further grow its long-term relationship with HHP by providing additional new loan support which will help create more sustainable, affordable housing across the communities of the Western Isles.
The new homes to be built for local people by HHP are crucial, and underpin the stability and ongoing prosperity of rural communities for future generations. We are pleased to be able to assist by supporting HHP's good work."
Angus Lamont HHP’s Chief Executive and Dena Macleod, HHP’s
Director of Resources sign the new agreement