The funding package from the Bank will be used to deliver a significant new development and investment programme which is projected to total around £53m and deliver in excess of 300 new homes across the Outer Hebrides.
As of 31st March 2021, there were 170 houses under construction across 10 sites, with a further 34 houses either due to commence or at the tendering stage.
The social landlord with offices in Stornoway and Balivanich has also earmarked part of the funding to upgrade its existing portfolio of high-quality homes for more than 2,200 tenants and their households across the Outer Hebrides.
This will include the replacement and repair of roofs, bathrooms, kitchens, windows and heating systems, as well as importantly help to address levels of fuel poverty across the region, which are currently among the highest in the UK. Already, HHP has replaced almost all solid fuel heating systems with air source heating and is making good progress on replacing storage systems.
HHP currently employs 53 people and given its projected growth, it plans to expand the team by three through the appointment of two graduate trainees and one modern apprentice over the next 12 months.
Iain Macmillan, Chair of HHP, said: “Royal Bank of Scotland’s £25m loan facility represents a major milestone for us and supports the continued growth of the organisation which has accelerated at pace since its formation in 2006. The funding puts us in a strong position to deliver new homes and continue to invest in our housing stock, as well as upgrade existing properties to deliver energy-efficient, affordable homes for our tenants.
“Excellent service and communication from the team at Royal Bank of Scotland helped make the process very streamlined and we’d like to thank them for the support they’ve provided throughout the transaction.”
Alan Newlands, Relationship Director at Royal Bank of Scotland, said: “Last year we announced that we will be investing £3bn in social housing across the UK over the next three years, supporting the construction of 20,000 homes. With Hebridean Housing Partnership progressing with the delivery of much-needed homes across the Outer Hebrides, it was rewarding to offer our long-term and valued customer a restructured and flexible financial package to help support the delivery of new homes.
“We’re looking forward to continuing our relationship with Hebridean Housing Partnership as they deliver positive change by tackling housing shortages and fuel poverty issues through further investment and development in energy-efficient homes.”
Header images show HHP bungalows on Sinclair Avenue in Lewis.