Team to Celebrate Off Islands Affordable Homes Project

Recently-constructed social housing on Bryher

The affordable homes building project, which was recently completed on the off-islands, will be celebrated today by the people who made it happen.

The Cornwall Rural Housing Association constructed seven homes on three islands last year, with the Homes and Communities Agency funding £1.4m of the £1.9m scheme.

Eligible tenants had to show they have lived or worked all year round on the island where the home is, or need to have been in Scilly for at least two and a half years.

The rents are set at an affordable level of £110 a week and running costs are said to be affordable too, with high levels of insulation, a solar thermal hot water system and wood burning stoves that heat through radiators.

The Duchy of Cornwall offered a 125-year lease on the land and the former Land Steward, Colin Sturmer, will cut a ceremonial ribbon at the two homes on Bryher’s Church Quay this lunchtime.

Peter Moore, Director of the Cornwall Rural Housing Association, says the event on Bryher will celebrate the building work on that island as well as St Martin’s and St Agnes.

Peter says convincing the HCA to part with the cash took a lot of work. He says it was a first for his housing association and he is proud of the achievement.

The housing association still wants to build more homes here, because there is an acute shortage, says Peter.

The HCA has declined to fund other projects here recently.

Funds are awarded regionally and a scheme in Penzance or Truro will always appear cheaper and better value, but he believes the islands’ building costs are comparable to central London and projects here can be delivered as cost effectively as in the capital.