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New Academy Street Flats are Handed Over to Tenants

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The Highland Housing Alliance has completed and handed over the keys (today 10 December 2015)  to the tenants of the new Academy Street flats. The Academy Street development comprises 31, 1 and 2 bedroom flats, bringing more affordable accommodation to people and families in the City of Inverness. 

17 flats were handed over through the National Housing Trust scheme by the Highland Housing Alliance and 14 flats were handed over by the Highland Council.   

The homes are of a contemporary design and come with fitted kitchens, carpets, and blinds.  They were built in conjunction with the Highland Housing Alliance, the Scottish Futures Trust, The Highland Council, Ark Estates and William Gray Construction, under the highly successful National Housing Trust initiative. 

Developed by the Scottish Government and the Scottish Futures Trust, the NHT initiative is supported by a Scottish Government guarantee and is designed to create more new homes, available at a mid-market rent, in areas where there is strong demand for affordable housing.   

Gail Matheson, Chief Executive of the Highland Housing Alliance said: “The Academy Street development is our first  regeneration project of new homes in the City Centre and has proved to be very popular. Demand remains high for similar properties.  

“The NHT project has boosted the provision of good quality new homes in Inverness, bringing much needed rental accommodation with the option to buy to local families. This allows people to rent properties on short assured tenancies for a minimum period of 5 years, at a mid-market rent after which tenants can buy their homes.  It enables people to get a foot on the property ladder by giving time to save for a mortgage deposit. We wish the tenants well in their new homes.”

Christa Reekie, commercial director at Scottish Futures Trust (SFT), explained:  “What a fantastic way to start the festive season by picking up keys to a new affordable rent home in time for Christmas.  

“These new tenants will today join more than 1,000 others across Scotland now living in NHT homes who are benefiting by paying affordable rent as well as having new homes.

“The NHT programme has been a hugely popular initiative and I am extremely proud for SFT to be playing such a significant role in partnership with the Highland Housing Alliance and the Council. NHT is helping to make a real difference to the lives of many people in Scotland.”   

Chair of The Highland Council’s Planning, Development and Infrastructure Committee, Councillor Audrey Sinclair said:  “These new flats and retail units are a most welcome addition to the wider regeneration of Academy Street and offer new NHT tenants time to prepare for home-ownership.  The NHT initiative has helped many people throughout Highland and I am delighted to see more new homes being built, especially in the City Centre.  I look forward to further regeneration of the area and wish the new council and NHT tenants every happiness in their new homes.  The Council will continue to work in conjunction with their partner organisations to deliver new affordable homes throughout Highland.”  

Martyn Rae a soon-to-be resident of the Academy Street development said: “I am really pleased to be moving into the flat that I will have the chance to own. All the rooms are well-sized and the quality of the build,  kitchen and bathroom fittings is excellent.

“The Highland Housing Alliance has been very helpful throughout the process of securing the property.  Instead of living at home or renting in the private sector, the NHT scheme  gives me the chance to save up for a deposit and to make the flat my home before I buy it.”  

The Highland Housing Alliance (HHA) is a not-for-profit development company that builds private houses and facilitates affordable housing for families and people living in Highland communities. The company handles the management and maintenance of HHA rented homes.