Riverside Scotland has opened up the ‘nation’s largest’ affordable modular housing development, with four homes being allocated to military veteran households
Riverside Scotland has made a commitment to provide homes for veterans at risk of homelessness, by allocating more than 10% of new homes to support veteran households.
The commitment follows a recent Riverside Scotland-commissioned poll, conducted by Survation, which found that 85% of Scottish people said they were concerned or very concerned about the rate of military homelessness.
The organisation has a service level agreement in place with Veterans First Point and NHS Ayrshire and Arran to ensure that veterans are fully supported in their tenancies, and in the transition to life after service in the military.
‘Providing a much-needed combination of secure and suitable housing’
Heather Anderson, head of service delivery at Riverside Scotland commented: “Riverside Scotland recognises the housing and wider needs of many veteran households, and the difficulty many experience in accessing suitable accommodation and support upon discharge from the Forces, and beyond.
“The partnership we have developed with Veteran’s First Point Ayrshire will provide a much-needed combination of secure and suitable housing, alongside support to address any mental, physical, emotional, and tenancy-related needs for veterans and their families, for as long as it is needed.”
A new start
Royal Highland Fusiliers veteran, Scott Devlin added: “I was brought up in the army. My dad served with the RHF for 25 years and in 2008 when I was aged to join, I signed up straight away.
“Unfortunately, my career was cut short when I permanently lost my hearing in one ear and suffered trauma to the other during a live fire exercise in Kenya. Military life was all I had known and returning to civilian life wasn’t easy.
“I was depressed, my relationship broke down, I was unemployed and found myself homeless. I was in a bad way and my mental health really suffered.
“I found out about Veterans First Point and haven’t looked back. They have helped me get back on my feet and I’m finally in a good place. I am starting an engineering apprenticeship in the New Year and to top it off I’ve eventually got my own house.
“I’ve lived in four temporary homes throughout Ayrshire in the past year – some in such poor conditions that I couldn’t even have my kids to stay. I was over the moon when I found out I had been allocated a brand new modular home in Dundonald.
“It’s a complete new start for my family and I can’t thank the team at Riverside Scotland enough. I am definitely ending the year on a high note knowing I won’t be spending another Christmas in temporary accommodation.”
Dundonald is the first sustainable and energy efficient modular project within the Riverside Group. One of the driving forces behind opting for modular housing is the environmental benefits, with 67% less energy required to produce a modular building, and a reduction in construction waste by 85%.
For this development, homes are built in Connect Modular’s manufacturing facility in Cumnock, Ayrshire, and are made wind-proof and watertight on the same day they are delivered to the site, eliminating the potential for moisture to be trapped in the structure and reducing shrinkage.
This controlled environment allows for a stringent quality regime and minimal defects. With materials being stored in dry, undercover setting, the risk of damaged materials is reduced significantly.
The combination of a highly insulated building envelope and solar PV panels means huge savings on energy consumption and bills for tenants.