Moniaive Initiative are pleased to announce that their first Community Affordable Housing Project has been shortlisted for an award in the “Best Long-Term Empty Homes Restoration Project” category of the Scottish Empty Homes Partnership Annual Awards Ceremony, on 2nd February 2021. We are the only community-led project shortlisted.
Moniaive Initiative purchased 12 Sawmill Green in 2019, after five years of preliminary work to identify local housing need and investigate potential development. They received a grant from the Scottish Government Rural Housing Fund to purchase the building, which had stood empty and declining in the centre of their village for several years. Further grants from SSE Renewables enabled them to renovate the property to make it fully accessible and suitable for an older or less able member of the community. Work was seriously delayed by the Covid19 pandemic; but thanks to the dedication of the team, including their local main contractor J&W Vernon Ltd, the renovation was eventually completed in August 2020, and the first tenant moved in just days later.
Moniaive Initiative was supported through the process by South of Scotland Community Housing (formerly DGSCHT), whose Chief Executive, Mike Staples, said: “An amazing job has been done of transforming the property into a bright, welcoming home, and we’re incredibly pleased with the overall outcome.”
There has been a record number of empty homes brought back into use over the past year and the Scottish Empty Homes Partnership is excited about honouring those who have worked so hard to make it happen.
Kevin Stewart, housing minister, said: “It is very encouraging that in the midst of a pandemic, we have seen continued hard work and dedication of people and organisations to tackle the issue of empty homes. These properties can be a blight on communities which is why the Scottish Government has invested £400,000 each year to support the Scottish Empty Homes Partnership.
“We greatly appreciate all of the effort that has gone into bringing empty homes back into use over the past year. Good luck and congratulations to all of the deserving finalists.”