Mull and Iona Community Trust

“This project proves that social housing can be innovative and stylish, as well as affordable for tenants to live in.“

Helen McDonald, Mull and Iona Community Trust, Housing Project Manager

The challenge          

In 2010 the population of Ulva Ferry on the Isle of Mull was in decline and the primary school under threat of closure.  

Developing the solution

Local people decided that the solution was to tackle the lack of affordable housing options for young people and set up the Ulva School Community Association (USCA) to work with the Mull and Iona Community Trust (MICT) to do this. The organisations decided to build two new houses right next to the school to bring new families and children onto the island.

The Ulva Ferry community remained at the heart of the project throughout - choosing the architect and finalising the design, agreeing the allocation policy, the need for affordable rents and for very high insulation levels to minimise the tenants’ heating bills.  

The result

In June 2017, two families moved into the first designated affordable rental housing to be built in the area for decades, bringing six children to the school, and bringing new hope for Ulva Ferry’s future.

What we liked about this project

QHT were very impressed with the design and standard of the property. The architects used Passive House principles to drive down energy waste to the very lowest levels in line with the Passivhaus standard, using very modern design and technical systems. Providing homes is one part of the story. The housing was genuinely affordable for local families and the benefit to the local community of keeping the school open was priceless.

'We are thrilled to be moving into this beautiful new home, everyone has been very welcoming and our daughter can’t wait to settle into Ulva Primary School.’

New tenant, Samantha Wright,


Ulva Ferry on the Isle of Mull, Scotland
Two new affordable houses