The Minister for Local Government and Housing, Kevin Stewart, MSP, visited the Findhorn Community on 23rd June with Richard Lochhead, MSP for Moray, showing support for the latest affordable housing project on the Findhorn Community site. This is the first time the rural housing fund has supported such a project in an ecovillage – so a first for Scotland and for the Findhorn Community.
The Rural Housing Fund has provided a £130,000 grant towards the build cost of £550,000 for six units of affordable housing at Findhorn Ecovillage.
The two MSPs are seen in the video clip below with Paddy Atkinson, the architect for the project.
Housing Minister Kevin Stewart said, “We recognise the challenges of developing affordable housing in rural areas, so I’m delighted that the Scottish Government was able to provide funding for this project through the Rural Housing Fund.
“The provision of these new build homes for affordable rent will make a positive impact on this community in Moray. The Rural Housing Fund is open to a range of applicants and I would encourage other community organisations or landowners to come forward with projects which can deliver affordable housing in their communities.”
The Ecovillage project based at The Park in Findhorn, includes over 100 ecologically designed houses and about 30 other buildings most of which have a community function of one kind or another.
House prices on the Findhorn peninsula are very high relative to local salaries. Six more flats for rent are currently under construction by The Park Ecovillage Trust in The Park. It is expected that further affordable housing development will be created in future.
An ecological footprint study was undertaken in 2007 by an external body and the community’s carbon footprint was, at that time, the lowest ever measured in the industrialised world. This was due to a number of factors, housing being one of them.