Orkney Islands Property Development Ltd (OIPDL) was established with the full support of the Islands Council, as a company limited by guarantee and incorporated on 29th May 1991.
Whilst its primary objectives was to provide housing management services it was also recognised to be a crucially important organisation, working in harmony with the Council and Orkney Housing Association Ltd, in ensuring that housing needs throughout the County were adequately addressed.
Since its creation the company has been successful in obtaining GRO Grant funding from Scottish Homes now The Scottish Government which, coupled with the private sector monies, has enabled 12 units of rented accommodation, including new build and refurbishment, to be provided in Kirkwall where demand for rented accommodation far exceeds supply.
Since 1995 the company, acting as the local agent for Communities Scotland Rural Home Ownership Grant initiative, saw more than 300 grants processed to completion.
The company has built 24 Very Sheltered Houses plus a core unit in Kirkwall as part of the Community Care Plan. Funds for this scheme have been supplied partly by the Health Board partly by private finance and partly by the Scottish Government under their ‘Special Needs Capital Grant’ scheme. The first phase of this development was completed in October 1998 and the second phase was completed in 2002. A similar scheme has also been completed in Westray. This is the Kalisgarth Care Centre, which includes five flats, 2 semi-detached houses, as well as respite facilities.
In March 2004 the company renovated two houses at Gunn’s Close this has provided three supported flats for people who have had drink/drug problems and an office development. Funding was again accessed from the Scottish Government and Orkney Islands Council. Associated with this we were able to access funds from the New Opportunities Scheme for a part-time support worker to help tenants with day to day life issues.
The property at Gunn’s close comprises of one office and three general let flats.
OIPDL also works in partnership with the Criminal Justice Section of the Council to provide four flats to accommodate their clients as and when required.
In addition to the above specialist housing, OIPDL also has its own portfolio of properties to let in Kirkwall.
In terms of organisational structure, the Company possesses a seven member Board of Directors under the Chairmanship of Mr Bill Barbour. These directors represent a wide spread of business and community interests, all of whom are committed to extending housing opportunities within Orkney.
There are three members of staff based at the Company Offices at 4 Gunn's Close, Kirkwall:
Anne Whitton – Housing Manager and Company Secretary
Dave Linklater – Housing Officer
Fran Richardson – Housing Assistant