Isle gets first social housing in more than 10 years

Fiona MacLennan
Image caption,

Fiona MacLennan is among the first residents of Raasay's new Deer Park development

  • Published

Tenants have moved into the first rented affordable homes to be built on Raasay in more than than a decade.

Housing has been a crisis issue on the small island off Skye for the last 15 years, according to the local development trust.

Lochalsh and Skye Housing Association own two of the properties and Raasay Development Trust the other three in the new £1.3m Deer Park development.

The Scottish government and Highland Council are supporting plans to construct a further six properties on another site.

Fiona MacLennan, 28, has moved into a two-bedroom property rented out by Lochalsh and Skye Housing Association.

She had been staying in a glamping pod at Raasay House Hotel where she works as the reservations manager.

Ms MacLennan said: "Getting the house now opens up my pod for additional seasonal staff and means that I finally have a permanent home after two years.

"My paternal grandmother was from Raasay, so I would visit as a child with my family and have always wanted to live here. Now I can."

Ms MacLennan said the nearest available social housing was across the sea in Broadford on Skye or in Kyle on the Highland mainland.

She said: "This is unfeasible for me as my shifts start at 07:00 and the first ferry doesn’t get in to Raasay until 08:25."

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Seki Lee said he was thankful to have a home on Raasay

Another of the first residents, Seki Lee, is a distiller at Raasay Distillery.

The 37-year-old has been living in a private let for almost a year.

Mr Lee said: "It's quite hard to get accommodation for me and other people.

"I'm thankful to get housing."

He hopes to move his wife and their three-year-old son into the three-bedroom property.

Mr Lee said: "They will be very happy on this beautiful island."

Image caption,

The new homes have been made available to their first residents

Map

The homes have been built on land provided by a local sheep stock club, a crofting township organisation that collectively farms sheep.

Elizabeth Taggart, of Raasay Development Trust, said: "It is just a fantastic day seeing our tenants at the houses and seeing the difference it is going to make for them."