22nd November 2019
Established 1872. Online since 1996.

Housing association looks forward to getting on site at Staney Hill

The proposed development of around 350 houses at Staney Hill has been described by Hjaltland Housing Association as its “most ambitious on-going project”.

The development would take place over the next 10-15 years, with the association hoping to be on site and building by the spring of next year, according to its 2018/19 annual report.

Plans to build houses at Staney Hill have been under way for a number of years.

The Staney Hill site has also been cited by Shetland Islands Council (SIC) as part of plans to make sure a greater number of affordable houses are built in the isles.

The association has also been looking at sites outside of Lerwick this year, according to chairwoman Agnes Tallack, including in Gulberwick, Sandwick and Scalloway.

In the report, Ms Tallack said she “was absolutely delighted” to have been appointed to the role last year.

Other takeaways from the annual report include the 104 permanent tenancies the association created in 2018/19, and 598 housing applications which were received and processed.

There was more good news for tenants as Hjaltland reduced the average number of days between tenancies to 3.75 days — compared to 4.3 days in 2017/18.

The time taken to complete emergency repairs was also down to an hour, from two previously, but the time taken to complete non-emergency repairs was up to six days from five.

Hjaltland collected more than £3m worth of rent in 2018/19, which equated to 98.49 per cent of the rent due.

In that time, eight tenants were served with formal legal action and four properties were recovered due to non-payment of rent.

The association spent £292,000 on reactive repairs and £640,000 on planned maintenance.

A recent report from the Care Inspectorate also gave Hjaltland a rating of “very good” for the quality of its care and support and quality of staffing.

This followed an unannounced inspect of housing support services in July, with the association providing enabling support to tenants in sheltered accommodation.

The report called the housing association a “person-led and responsive service” and said the staff were enthusiastic about work they did and that training was readily available, citing dementia training as an example of this.

“It is the association’s vision to ‘provide homes and services that enable our tenants to thrive in communities where people are proud to live and work’, and we are thoroughly delighted to receive such positive feedback from the Care Inspectorate,” said head of housing and customer services Ian Bray.

“We recognise the importance in providing low-level support to allow tenants to live independently in their communities, but it is always reassuring to have our excellent service provision acknowledged by a regulatory body.”

No recommendations or requirements were made in the inspection report, but Hjaltland confirmed staff will continue to work in partnership with tenants to improve service provision.

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