Thurso Area Office, 12-14
Dunnett Road, THURSO, KW14 8HY Tel: 01847 894483
Inverness Area Office,
Ballantyne House, INVERNESS, IV1 1LU Tel: 01463 220666
Head Office, 22 York Place,
EDINBURGH, EH1 3EP Tel: 0131 556 4415
How did it all Start?
During the 1960's the Royal British Legion in England recognised the
need to provide sheltered housing for elderly ex-servicemen and women.
To achieve this they established the Royal British Legion Housing
Association which soon grew rapidly and experienced considerable
success. Around 1973, TRBL approached the Royal British Legion in
Scotland with the suggestion that they should form a similar Housing
Association for Scottish veterans. however the RBLS, a much
smaller organisation, felt that the task was beyond its scope and so in
1975 TRLB was invited to operate a housing association in Scotland and
small area office was opened in Edinburgh.
TRBLHA continued to focus its attention on providing sheltered housing
for ex-Service veterans in the form of Courts which consisted of custom
built flats and cottages with communal lounges and laundries. They
also included at least one resident warden and an internal alarm call
system which linked flats to the Warden's house. the first Court
was Douglas Haig Court in Hawick which consisted of 36 flats and was
opened in 1977.
The Early Years
Following the first court in Hawick several others followed as local
Court Committees were formed to create the organisational structures and
foster a strong sense of identity for tenants. the 80's saw
spectacular growth and the need was seen for more professional
management at all levels. More open selection of tenants was also
By 1987 it was clear that the new government Agency "Scottish
Homes" would have a crucial effect on continuing operation of
TRBLHA in Scotland. Faced with the knowledge that Scottish Homes
development funding would only be provided to independent Scottish
based Associations TRBLHA made the bold and generous decision to
transfer the Scottish operation to independent control. The
royal British Legion Soctland Housing Association became fully
independent on 1st April 1990.
1999-2000 has seen the success of New Housing Partnership activities
and unprecedented levels of activity for the Association. New
starts on 274 houses funded by NHP grant and some Scottish Homes Housing
Expenditure was in the region of £4.5 million and this is likely to
rise next year to £7million.
The Association changed its name in June 1992 to Cairn Housing
Association Limited. and controlled 916 sheltered housing units with £300,000
of reserves and provisions.
In 1992 Cairn was asked toi assist a small specialist housing
association resulting in Cairn assuming responsibility. At the
same time Cairn became the landlord for 850 Scottish Homes properties in
Inverness. In late 1995 the association learned it had been
successful in stock transfer in Thurso and the office their was
The association has been very successful in obtaining New housing
Partnership money and has expanded its operations and implemented a ten
year plan. Bids in North and south ~Lanarkshire have been
successful. A further contract with Scottish Homes has added
another 500 homes for rent the first of which became available for
letting in 1999. the whole contract will be completed in 2001
Bedsit accommodation in 1984 was upgraded to have separate bedrooms.
Research was commissioned and will be completed in the Autumn of 2000
examining the needs, the design and economics of remodelling bed sit
Further research into Building Better Communities has also been
commissioned and this report will be published in November 2000.
|The year 2000
saw the Silver Jubilee of the Association.
Some information from the 25th Annual Report
The association has grown and diversified since it first started in
1975. the first housing webt up in Hawick and there are now
properties from wick in the North to Newcastelton in the south and from
Eyemouth in the East to Campbeltown in the West a grand total of 2180
The 25th anniversary is being marked by events around Scotland.
One event was held on Tuesday, 10th October 2000 at the Park Hotel where
residents, Cairr Staff and directors met for an informal chat and coffee
with councillors and MSP Jamie Stone. the chairman William Walker
outlined the achievements and the spread around Scotland.
He particularly emphasised the hard work carried out to take advantage
of the New Housing Partnership money made available by the Scottish
Cairn continues to maintain a healthy financial position and the annual
report thanks the staff fro their efforts.
Bill Fernie is an unpaid director of Highland Housing and Community Care
Trust and attended to represent the Trust.