An Island Wide Master Plan was developed in 2008 – this was the first major plan for the island to identify priorities following the community land buy-out. The provision of good quality housing with a range of tenure options was seen as crucial to sustaining the future of the island.

Housing development on Gigha over the last 20 years has included the renovation of Trust owned housing, private self-build homes, and the development of 18 new social housing units owned by Fyne Homes. However, one of the objectives was to support the continuing requirements of the community with the provision of “whole –life housing” suitable for further adaptation. Gigha, like much of Argyll, has an ageing population, therefore it is important we support our residents to remain on Gigha for as long as possible.

The provision of housing for our elderly residents is what encouraged the Trust to progress this project. We approached the Rural Housing Fund for feasibility funding which allowed us to work with Communities Housing Trust to undertake initial community consultation. This included drop-in sessions and a survey. The survey revealed demand for housing but also helped further establish the specific needs within the community, which related to both our young and elderly residents. Therefore, the idea of intergenerational housing was brought forward to support both the independence for our young people, whilst enabling our elderly residents to stay.

There was 54 responses to the survey, representing 132 people. 91% said they permanently reside on Gigha. This was a high response and a good representation of the community’s views.

The project was progressed in conjunction with a Design Team, who developed plans for 5 new homes to be built on a centrally located site. The design include 3 x 2 bedroom homes design to wheelchair standards to help support on-going accessibility needs of our elderly residents in particular, and 2 x 1 bedroom homes designed with our young residents in mind. The site location, which is adjacent to the Craft Units, was chosen to keep the development central, accessible, and as cost effective as possible. All 5 houses will be let by the Trust at affordable housing rent levels. The homes are being built to a Silver Building Standard, which means energy efficiency measures have been put in place to ensure the homes are sustinable and affordable to occupy.

The total development cost is £1.8m for construction of the 5 homes including associated infrastructure and design costs. A contractor has been appointed, with ambitions for homes to be occupied by summer 2024.

This project is being funded by the Scottish Government's Rural and Islands Housing Fund, Argyll and Bute Council's Strategic Housing Fund, and Social Investment Scotland.



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