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More Affordable Housing For Orkney

Orkney Housing Association (OHAL), has set forth its plans to build additional affordable housing at Walliwall, Kirkwall.

The contract which has been awarded to Orkney Builders will see the construction of 22 houses for affordable rent.: 14 of these are 1-bedroomed, the remainder being a mix of 2,3 and 4 bedroomed.

6 homes will be built for low-cost home ownership under the Scottish Government New Supply Shared Equity scheme. These will be marketed for sale and available for individuals who qualify under the scheme.

5 of the houses will be finished to “amenity standard” and 1 for a wheelchair user. Amenity standard homes are particularly suited to older people or those with mobility problems.

All the houses will be constructed using traditional timber frame construction to give high insulation values above those required for Building Regulations. They will be zero-emissions and amongst some of the most energy efficient in the islands. Heating will be provided by Quantum storage heaters.

L to R; Stephen Kemp, Managing Director Orkney Builders, Craig Spence Chief Executive, Orkney Housing Association & Richard Flett Development & Properties Manager, Orkney Housing Association. Photo credit Orkney Photographic.

This latest contract worth over £5million to Orkney Builders (Contractors) takes the contracted spend with local firms by OHAL to almost £9m with agreements to build 48 new homes within the last 12 months, following contracts with R Clouston Ltd and WRC Construction announced last July.

Craig Spence, OHAL Chief Executive said

“Everyone in our community can feel the real and ongoing need for affordable housing to meet the needs of people living and working in Orkney. Once again, it is great that we can work with another excellent local construction firm providing important jobs and apprenticeships.”

The work at Walliwall is scheduled to be completed by Spring 2023.

Managing Director of Orkney Builders, Stephen Kemp said

“We deliver projects of all sizes and scales in Orkney, but building quality affordable housing is key to us.

“These contracts help us create new sustainable jobs and apprenticeships, and having Walliwall has enabled us to employ another four apprentices this year alone, taking us to a total of seventeen apprentices at present.

“Also very importantly, Orkney Housing Association’s developments help meet local people’s housing needs and help folk in our Community – and being part of that effort is really important to us too.”

The Covid 19 pandemic and lockdown in 2020 hit the construction industry hard, as it did so many sectors. Despite the limitations Richard Flett , OHAL’s Development & Properties Manager was able to negotiate the financing and delivery of these projects in Orkney using local construction.

Richard Flett said:

“There is always an appetite from local firms to build quality housing for us and our tenants. We know the high energy efficiency and craftsmanship that Orkney Builders and others work to, and I am sure that the tenants and owners of these affordable houses will really enjoy living in them.”

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