SDT’s Housing Needs Assessment Report undertaken in October 2017 demonstrated that there was a need for affordable Housing in Shapinsay.
In May 2019 SDT was successful in securing a Scottish Land Fund Stage 1 Feasibility grant to undertake further consultation work around the potential location of affordable housing, which ruled out new-build. This consultation also helped us to identify the need to attract young families to Shapinsay.
After further consultation with the community, we turned our attention to purchasing existing properties that had been on the market for over a year, and with grant funding from Scottish Land Fund (Stage 2), were able to purchase two properties in Balfour village: Number 9 in July 2020 and the Schoolhouse in January 2021
Working with a local architect, we put together a list of works required to completely renovate both properties, including extensive insulation and efficient heating systems, and used this to successfully apply to the Islands Housing Fund for grant aid for the works.
At this point the work for each property was put out to tender and local contractors were successful.
Work commenced on number 9 in July 2020 and a little later due to technical problems on the Schoolhouse in February 2021
In July 2020 we created a Housing Subgroup of the Trust, specifically to liaise with the Project Manager in order to ensure the project was on schedule regarding time and budget and to liaise with other relevant agencies, in particular OIC and a Social Housing Manager in order to give informed decisions and feedback to SDT Board.
The Board at this point, approached D&H to be the lettings agency for both properties.
The subgroup, with assistance from OIC and D&H, developed a local lettings policy with a points system weighted to attracting young families to Shapinsay.
Number 9 has been completed and is currently being advertised for let.
The Schoolhouse is due to be completed Early/Mid June.