In November 2014 we were awarded funding from the Scottish Government’s Learning Network Challenge Fund to find out more about local attitudes to housing need through a series of workshops. Our idea was to kick off a discussion about housing within the community. We wanted to, in the context of housing, explore new ideas, add to local knowledge and encourage the idea of community-led exploration and development of housing in the community.
As a result of this project we were able to gain a much clearer understanding of the issues impacting on housing in our community. We have a unique set of challenges within our community – an oversupply of existing, unwanted, unsuitable housing, and a lack of land to build new housing. We have young people who don’t necessarily see having a home of their own as a goal, and for whom there are not the jobs or education opportunities to remain in the community anyway. We have older people who would like to remain in their community but who are put off by the lack of suitable amenity housing and support mechanisms and the vulnerability of services in the village. The challenge for us now will be to change perceptions about how housing should be delivered – away from the traditional models of council or housing association-provided social housing, and towards community housing where we are able to uniquely meet these challenges with our own solutions.
You can read the full report here:
In August 2016 we were awarded money from the Scottish Land Fund and the Scottish Government’s Rural Housing Fund to carry out feasibility work on community housing in Moniaive. We commissioned Dumfries & Galloway Small Communities Housing Trust to carry out a Housing Needs & Demands Survey. You can read the results of that Survey here:
The Feasibility work then identified suitable properties for consideration, from several that were long-term unoccupied. For our first project, we would like to focus on the housing needs of older members of our community, and have identified an opportunity to convert an existing property into a fully-accessible two-bedroom unit. We commissioned an Architect to draw up initial plans for conversion. In late 2017 we tendered for the works.
In May 2018 we received an offer of funding from Scottish Government Rural Housing Fund, and at the end of 2018 a further grant offer from the SSE Dumfries & Galloway Sustainable Development Fund completed our funding package. In August 2019 we purchased Number 12 Sawmill Green, Moniaive.
Moniaive Initiative Chairman, Bill McLarty said: “We have used a Scottish Government grant through the Rural Housing Fund to purchase a building which has stood empty within our community for some years. We now plan to use a generous grant in excess of £40k from SSE Dumfries & Galloway Sustainable Development Fund to refurbish and alter the house into a fully-accessible two-bedroom home for an older or less mobile single person or couple.”
Work commenced on the building renovation and refurbishment in early October 2019, and you can see how the interior layout will change here:
Progress was unfortunately delayed by the Covid Pandemic, and work on site had to stop for over two months. During this time we worked with DGSCHT to update our Register of Interest, and then to select our first tenant.
Work re-started in July, and was finished early in August 2020. Main Contractor, J&W Vernon, and his team of subcontractors, did an excellent job of the extensive refurbishment works and have transformed the property. Unfortunately, due to the ongoing Covid situation and the need to maintain social distancing, we were unable to hold an open-house to show off the interior before our tenant moved in, or even cut at ribbon to ‘open’ the house officially. Our new tenant has now taken up residence, and is very happy with the house.
We welcome Mrs Edwards back to Moniaive, and wish her all the best in her new home.
Living Room and kitchen at 12 Sawmill Green, Moniaive