South of Scotland Community Housing (SOSCH) is a community-led housing enabler that provides long-term support to planning and delivery of community-led housing projects across Southern Scotland.
We work with community organisations and other partners to understand local housing needs and identify solutions that are embedded in community asset ownership and empowerment. We promote a holistic view of community-led regeneration, sustainability and resilience, as well as the wider benefits of locally affordable homes – addressing fuel poverty and net-zero, employment and training opportunities, economic development, retention of younger people and ageing population and vacant/derelict land and buildings. We work to increase availability of suitable housing options and increase supply of safe, warm, secure, energy-efficient homes in rural Southern Scotland.
SOSCH is currently working with over 30 communities across Southern Scotland, both rural and urban – particularly smaller towns. Projects we have recently supported include:
- The repurposing of the Cat “B” Listed “Old Police Station” in Langholm as community-led homes (Scottish Empty Homes Awards 2022 winner, “Best Old Wreck”, SURF Awards 2021 runner up, “Housing and Regeneration”).
- The redevelopment of the former Bank of Scotland in Wigtown as community-led homes, the “Book Town Bunkhouse” (creating 3 local jobs) and community allotments (SURF Awards 2022 runner up, “Housing and Regeneration”).
- Closeburn passivhaus, new homes in the ownership of Nith Valley Leaf Trust and Scotland’s first community-owned passive-certified homes (SURF Awards winner 2020, “Housing and Regeneration).
- The redevelopment of the derelict former Grapes Hotel in Whithorn, disused for in excess of 30 years, providing family homes adjacent to the local primary school (“Scottish Empty Homes Awards 2023, shortlisted in affordable housing category), with phase 2 – new-build on land to the rear – now on-site.
- Glentrool Empty Homes – community ownership and low-energy retrofit of empty homes in the remote and fragile community of Glentrool in Galloway Forest Park, delivered alongside “The Hive”, a community facility within the former primary school that provides local employment opportunity.
SOSCH works in partnership with a range of organisations at a local, Scottish, UK and International level. We were in a partner in the EU Interreg (NW Europe) knowledge exchange project, SHICC and are an inaugural Steering Group member of the European CLT Network.