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Nearly all of the new council houses being built in Brodick will be allocated to existing Arran residents, the Banner can confirm.
Already the first release of the Brathwic Terrace houses have been offered to tenants and they are set to move in within weeks. The houses will then be released in two further batches that will see all new residents due to occupy their new homes by the end of October.
The allocation news is a welcome boost as affordable housing is at crisis level on the island. However, there had been fears that due to the North Ayrshire housing list being authority wide, that some houses may go to families on the mainland.
However, it has been confirmed that less than a handful will fall under this category and it may be because a few of the houses have additional access or have been adapted for special needs support.
The allocation for Arran residents has been boosted after it was agreed that people living and working on the island should be given priority.
A new local letting initiative, agreed by North Ayrshire Council in April, meant that housing register applicants, who met the criteria for residing on Arran, were awarded 100 points for their application. However, many felt this was not generous enough.
Additional priority was also given to essential workers, as it was recognised that it can be difficult to hire and retain key staff in important jobs on the island, such as health and social care and education.
The Brathwic Terrace development will provide 34 new, high quality affordable homes and are the first council houses on the island since the stock transfer to Isle of Arran Homes, now Trust Housing, in 2001.
The completion of the works will also bring a sigh of relief to residents of Springbank who have had to endure many months of construction traffic going to and from the site which only has one access and exit route. There remains concern at the number of extra car the new homes will put on to the traffic using Brathwic Place and Brathwic Terrace.
A North Ayrshire Council spokesman said: ‘We are currently in the process of making offers to prospective tenants of our 34 new homes at Brathwic Terrace in Brodick.
Through our local letting initiative which gave Arran residents greater priority, we expect the overwhelming number of homes to be allocated to people currently living on the island.
‘We expect the first of our tenants to move into their new homes soon and, once we have heard back from prospective tenants and finalised the outstanding offers, we expect all the new homes to be let by the end of autumn.