The island of Colonsay has a population of 124 (Census 2011) This population is split between 3 main settlements: Scalasaig, the port, Kilchattan, the main crofting community and location of the Primary School, and Kiloran, the location of Colonsay House. Colonsay, together with Oronsay is approximately ten miles long and two miles wide and is located in the Hebrides off the west coast of Scotland. It is one of the smallest of the inhabited Hebridean islands. The island has its own primary school, a hotel, a shop and post office and a cafe/restaurant. The island has a resident doctor and a district nurse. The main industries on the island are tourism, agriculture, publishing and aquaculture. Colonsay teenagers must travel to the mainland for their secondary education – many attend Oban High School and stay at a hostel. Islanders are reliant on transport links provided by the ferry and plane. The cost of living is high on Colonsay: fuel and foodstuffs in general cost 25% more in the local shop and the cost of freight for delivered items (oil or coal for heating for example) adds considerably to household bills.
The Colonsay Community Development Company (CCDC) have a number of exciting projects that they are working on such as renewables, community broadband and land purchase/housing development. A sub-committee of CCDC are also considering a community buyout of the Colonsay hotel. Click here to see what else they’re up to.
Argyll Community Housing Association (ACHA) have 2 houses for rent on Colonsay (2x 2bed) and West Highland Housing Association (WHHA)have 8 houses for rent (3x 2bed; 4x 3bed and 1x 4bed). Colonsay Community Development Company have plans to develop further housing on the island. To see what properties ACHA has available for immediate rent in Argyll, please click here.
Housing for Sale
Most housing on Colonsay is privately owned. There are a limited number of houses sold every year and there is often strong demand increasing local house prices.
The Scottish Government promotes initiatives to help first time buyers, but some like the Help to Buy scheme and the MI New Home initiatives are mainly available for new build housing in locations outside of the Hebrides.
Open Market LIFT may be accessible, however access to financial support is currently limited and house price thresholds are low. In Colonsay, the low threshold means there are few if any houses coming on the market where Open Market LIFT would be relevant. Many islands also have few house sales limiting this option – it is not available for self build.
Islanders may also be able to get help to buy through the Mortgage Guarantee Scheme
Private Rented Housing
The following properties are available for rent
HomeArgyll provides detailed information about housing options across Argyll. Click on the logo for their information on Colonsay. Click here to complete a Home Argyll housing options assessment.