Donations please for affordable homes fund

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A community trust has launched a fundraising appeal to help it build four more affordable homes at Ulva Ferry.

Mull and Iona Community Trust (MICT) has already successfully delivered two snug new homes for rent but says ongoing feasibility work has confirmed there is still a continued shortage of housing options.

The lack of housing is impacting on the sustainability of the community, the primary school roll and the ability of local businesses to thrive
and expand, says the trust.

Now MICT, working with Ulva School Community Association, has revealed ambitious plans to build four more houses on two sites at Ulva Ferry, one of which was recently purchased through a grant from the Scottish Land Fund.

It has set up a donation page hoping to bring in £10,000 to get it started.

‘While budget is a top priority, building costs are inflated in rural island locations and there are added infrastructure costs, such as installing private water supplies,’ said housing project officer Helen MacDonald.

She added: ‘Ulva Ferry, and Mull in general, have a distinct
shortage of secure, affordable, year-round accommodation. We are committed to delivering high quality, low energy housing which will offer tenants affordable rents, secure tenancies and low heating bills.

‘While we will be applying for grant and loan funding to cover the majority of the project costs, we would be grateful for any donations, which will be directly spent on build costs.’

Argyll and Bute MSP Michael Russell officially opened the first two homes at Sealladh Loch Tuath last November.

The three-bedroom houses were built right next to the school after a campaign fought off threats to close it. Construction of the houses took nine months and was completed on budget.

Funding came from the Scottish Land Fund, Argyll and Bute Council, the Trusthouse Charitable Foundation, the Quaker Housing Trust, the Scottish Government’s Rural Housing Fund, Triodos Bank, USCA, a significant anonymous bequest and more than £22,500 in donations through a high-profile crowdfunding campaign.

Support also came from Rural Housing Scotland, Community Land Scotland and Highlands and Islands Enterprise.

Donations to the new housing project can be made online at mydonate.bt.com/events/ulvaferryhousingphase2 or by sending cheques payable to Mull and Iona Community Trust to An Roth, Craignure, Isle of Mull, PA65 6AY.

To find out more about the housing project or if you are interested in renting one of the planned houses, contact Ms MacDonald on 01680 812 900 or email her at hmacdonald@mict.co.uk.