A survey of community needs and priorities in 2010 identified affordable community housing as the key priority for the community on the Isle of Coll.

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The recent survey was used to develop a growth plan for the island for 2011-2016, with affordable community housing as a project with the purpose of:

“increasing the availability of housing on Coll to meet current and predicted need such that community stability and resilience is improved.”

In May 2012, Rural Housing Scotland conducted a Housing Needs Survey to assess the requirement for new affordable housing on the island. Drawing on the results of the survey, a subsequent report by Rural Housing Scotland found that:

“The survey has highlighted significant housing need on Coll -22% of all respondents indicated they had some housing need. Those households with housing need divide equally between those who would like to build/buy and those who would like to rent.”

RHS are aware that Coll – and other islands – have not benefited from housing initiatives over recent years, and, with this in mind, launched the Our Island Home ‘affordable housing design competition’. The aim is to create a new-build home for less than £100k – but the home must also be affordable to maintain.

RHS have provided excellent support to DC and will continue to assist the organisation to achieve its aims, including the sourcing of finance to purchase land and/or build houses. The Our Island Home project requires that any houses are built on community-owned (or long-term rented) land and be managed by a Development Trust. The houses would be for rental only – and not for sale.

A ‘community housing group’ has been set up here on Coll which has met regularly over recent months with the intention of taking this project forward. The minutes of the most recent meetings can be found here.

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