Affordable Homes

More than 40% of the housing stock on Colonsay is second home or self-catering holiday accommodation , young people and families on average incomes are priced out of the local property market. We are at breaking point, and we have to make a change.

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Like many other rural communities, our resident population has decreased significantly over the last century and we have reached the point where the demographic has become unsustainable. We are critically close to losing some of our lifeline services due to the lack of working-age islanders and our primary school roll in 2021 dropped to just 2.

There are many factors that have led to the decrease in our working-age population but the main thing that has been identified, time and time again, by community surveys and speaking to our young people is the lack of affordable, secure housing on the island.

Plans for our Affordable Housing

There are currently 9 social housing units and only a handful of private rentals on the island. More than 40% of the housing stock on Colonsay is second home or self-catering holiday accommodation and houses regularly sell – often unadvertised – for well-above the council/Scottish average meaning that young people and families on average incomes are priced out of the local property market. We are at breaking point, and we had to make a change.

CCDC has been working since 2012 to try and solve this issue by providing affordable homes. Historically, finding land to buy for the community to develop has always proved a major hurdle, however, after 8 years of effort, in April 2020 with funding from Scottish Land Fund, Highlands & Islands Enterprise, Argyll & Bute Council and private industry partner Mowi, CCDC finally managed to procure two sites in Scalasaig, one for affordable housing which will accommodate up to 24 units and the other for 2 business units. The initial phase of development currently underway will provide:

  • 2 houses for low-cost home ownership 4 houses for affordable rent
  • 3 discounted serviced self-build plots.
  • Also included in the development are 3 houses for the local fish farm, Mowi to provide worker accommodation.

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