Case Studies: Community-Led Housing

This page provides brief case studies of some of the projects we have supported. For more information check out our projects section.

Fort Augustus and Glenmoriston

After a housing needs survey highlighted that there was considerable need for affordable rented accommodation in the village and surrounding area, Fort Augustus and Glenmoriston Community Company utilised support from the Scottish Land Fund to take ownership of a modest piece of ground known as the Old Convent land. The land is on the edge of the village, within easy walk of the village centre and amenities. It is a mixture of woodland and grassland and its accessibility means it is well used by the local community for informal recreation.

The community were happy to see housing but wanted housing that met local needs. FAGCC worked with the community to draw up plans for the construction of 12 affordable homes which would be let out at affordable rents (by affordable, we mean matching Highland Council rents).

The community are fortunate that they have access to funds which allow them to invest in such a project, along with monies secured from the Rural Housing Fund and others. When complete in 2021, the development will have four 2-bed flats, two 2-bed bungalows, two 3-bed villas and four 2-bed villas, meeting 50% of the housing needs of the area. In addition, the sale of a very small piece of the Old Convent Land to the Highland Council has facilitated a development of 6 x 1bed homes in the grounds of the Telford Centre. None of these would have happened without having access to land through ownership.

Knoydart Foundation

In 1999 the recently-formed Knoydart Foundation took ownership of the remains of the Knoydart estate, comprising of 16,500 acres and 5 residential properties. Although in poor condition, the properties were in use, such was the need for housing in the area. Over the next 20 years, the Foundation developed a housing policy which saw its housing stock grow to 11 properties for rent.

In addition, it has sold a small number of plots at market value with profits reinvested back into its core activities. In addition it has developed a ‘shared equity’ scheme which allows local people to purchase land at a reduced cost, with burdens put on the sale; the aim of this process is to keep local people, especially young people, in the community.

Should owners wish to sell, The Foundation has first right to purchase the property and the burdens put on the sale are passed onto any subsequent buyer, the aim being to keep the value of the properties at a more affordable level in an otherwise inflated house market. To date, three plots have been sold on this basis with a further 5 proceeding.

Whilst this does not solve all the housing problems in the area, it does make some inroads into providing alternative solutions. Again, key to its success is owning the land and having a commitment to providing affordable housing solutions.

Read more about community-led housing in Knoydart