Pairc Trust celebrates community-owned housing
On 14 August 2019, we attended the Pairc Trust's house warming event at Gravir, on the Isle of Lewis.
New tenants were welcomed to the Pairc Trust's community-owned houses in Gravir, Isle of Lewis earlier this week at a special house warming event, held as part of the Community Land Week celebrations.
The Pairc Trust's community-owned housing project at the Carn Aonghais Housing scheme has seen the development of two new two-bedroom properties, with one tenant already moved in and the other getting the keys next week.
The event was a fantastic opportunity to hear more about the project, see a range of photos from the full renovation process, meet the new tenants and hear about the positive impact of the new housing.
A housing needs analysis was carried out in 2016, funded by the Muaitheabhal Community Windfarm trust, to identify that there was a lack of rented accommodation in Pairc and that demand existed.
The Trust then purchased an empty disused building from the Comhairle, with help from the Scottish Land Fund and Highlands & Islands Enterprise and brought it back to life as two warm and energy efficient new homes, to rent at an affordable rate. The renovations work was funded by the Rural and Islands Housing Fund, Outer Hebrides LEADER and the Western Isles Development Trust, and carried out by local firm O’Mac Construction. Tighean Innse Gall have supported the Pairc Trust as project managers and will now act as the letting agent.
This project is the first visible acknowledgement of the power of community ownership to improve the lives of the estate’s residents.
Linsay Chalmers, Development Manager for Community Land Scotland says:
"When communities purchase the land on which their people live and work, they have the tools to reinvigorate their areas and improve the prospects of future generations.
"This week of celebration is justly deserved. A huge number of people across diverse areas of Scotland have put in enormous effort to get to this point. Community land acquisition is the start of a long journey, often to reverse many years of decline. The acquisition quickly stimulates confidence which empowers communities to develop economic and social opportunities, such as creating jobs and affordable housing or protecting vital community assets."
Further information about Community Land Scotland can be found at: www.communitylandscotland.org.uk
For more information about the Pairc Trust visit the Pairc Trust website.