The first phase of a£20 million housing regeneration project in Coatbridge was unveiled today by Communities Minister Wendy Alexander.
The Old Monkland development will provide nearly 500 new and improved houses over five years. It was started with£7 million New Housing Partnership funding from the Scottish Executive.
This project demonstrates the way forward for rented housing across Scotland. Speaking after unveiling a commemorative plaque for the 100th house, Ms Alexander said:
'£7 million from our New Housing Partnership initiative brought in nearly double that amount from the private sector. This shows just how effective the initiative is in attracting much needed investment to benefit communities across Scotland.
'Not only has the project attracted new large scale new private investment from the Halifax and other housing specialists to match the public funding, but the tenant-led management of houses has put the tenants more in charge of their own areas. More community ownership, which will often be through Housing Association's, is the way of the future.
'This project will deliver 500 new homes, most of them for rent. Clyde Valley Housing Association have also had success in securing employment and training for local people under their Building Futures programme.
'Good quality housing at affordable rents and prices helps to create sustainable communities. That is part of our positive vision for Scotland.'
Ms Alexander also presented the first Halifax Young Achievers Award, given to Colum Farrell, a first year apprentice stone mason and an Old Monkland resident, who has developed their career over the past twelve months.
'This award is an excellent way to encourage a feeling of self worth amongst local young people. I'd like to encourage other companies to get actively involved in their communities through similar schemes.'
1. Clyde Valley Housing Association is a community-based non-profit organisation registered with Scottish Homes. It was formed in 1992 to manage former Scottish Homes stock in Lanarkshire.
2. With£7 million assistance from the New Housing Partnership programme, together with substantial leverage of private finance, it plans to undertake a 5-year programme involving demolition and new build provision of 313 new houses for rent, refurbishment of 36 flats for rent and provision of 131 new houses for sale. The development consortium involves the Housing Association, Persimmon Homes and Kelvin Homes.
3. The New Housing Partnership Initiative aims to secure private sector investment for housing while also enabling Councils to have a role in any new landlord organisation. Besides the initial£10 million and£36.8 million made available in 1997-98 and 1998-99 respectively, a further£278 million will be distributed over the next three years to support the development of partnerships in Scotland.