Orkney Builders will build new homes for the housing association over the next two years. The work takes the total spend awarded to local firms within the last 12 months to almost £9m, following contracts with R Clouston and WRC Construction announced last July.
Chief Executive Craig Spence said: “Everyone in our community can feel the real and ongoing need for affordable housing to meet the needs of people living and working in Orkney. Once again, it is great that we can work with another excellent local construction firm providing important jobs and apprenticeships.”
He added: “Our development & properties manager, Richard Flett has done some tremendous work in collaboration with Orkney Builders to pull these projects and the finance together so that we can make good progress through this summer.”
Flett said: “There is always an appetite from local firms to build quality housing for us and our tenants. We know the high energy efficiency and craftsmanship that Orkney Builders and others work to, and I am sure that the tenants and owners of these affordable houses will really enjoy living in them.
Managing director of Orkney Builders Stephen Kemp said: “We deliver projects of all sizes and scales in Orkney, but building quality affordable housing is key to us. These contracts help us create new sustainable jobs and apprenticeships, and having Walliwall has enabled us to employ another four apprentices this year alone, taking us to a total of seventeen apprentices at present. Also very importantly, Orkney Housing Association’s developments help meet local people’s housing needs and help folk in our Community – and being part of that effort is really important to us too.”
There there will be 22 new homes available for rent, but also six new-build properties to purchase through a shared equity scheme. “Our main focus is rented homes, but I am very aware of the challenges local first-time buyers and others are facing in the current market, so am delighted that we will have these homes available to part-buy also,” said Spence.
The projects are part-funded by the Scottish Government Affordable Homes Supply Programme (AHSP).