Marshall Construction recently completed an innovative new housing development giving people in Dundee the chance to benefit from life enhancing and money saving features which could become common place in affordable housing in the near future.
The 21 innovative homes, which offer free broadband and access to the UK’s first non-profit energy supplier Our Power Energy, were handed over to tenants yesterday.
Constructed on the site of a former Dundee metal works in the city’s Hilltown area, the Dens Road development is a product of partnership working between Marshall Construction, Hillcrest Housing Association, Dundee City Council and Cullross Limited.
David Zwirlein, Hillcrest’s Director of Development and New Business, said: “Dens Road is a truly innovative development which explores the potential of what social housing can achieve. Our tenants at Dens Road have the option to be part of a pilot project to investigate the merits of free internet as a means to promote digital inclusion. The new approach to internet provision hopefully marks early steps towards ensuring no one is left behind as an increasing number of vital services move exclusively online.”
The Dens Road Digital Exchange (DDE) pilot, which will last for 12 months, offers tenants a free tablet in addition to the broadband which is supplied by Community UK.
In return for cost-free access to the broadband and tablet, Hillcrest is asking the tenants to use their new online tenants’ portal – I-Housing.
I-Housing, which is accessible through the company’s website, allows Hillcrest Housing Association tenants to pay their rent, report and book repairs, and perform a host of other timesaving tasks at any time of the day.
Free broadband is not the only innovative feature that the tenants at Dens Road will be enjoying; they will also be some of the first to benefit from energy supplied by Our Power Energy.
Our Power is a new independent energy supply company, the first in the UK operating on a non-profit distributing basis, providing lower cost heat and power to social housing tenants and their communities across Scotland.
Gareth Bland, Marshall Construction’s Business Development Manager, went on to say: “We’re delighted with the completed project at Dens Road, it further demonstrates Marshall Construction are fully committed to providing high quality affordable homes and the innovative features available here is an important step in the right direction, with the provision of much needed homes available for social rent in the area. This development not only demonstrates our capabilities in new build projects, but ensures there are wider benefits for local residents within the communities that we work.”
Hillcrest’s Energy Efficiency Officer, Roger Adams, commented: “All of the properties have smart meters installed which allow our tenants to easily see how much energy they are consuming giving them the information they need to tailor their energy usage accordingly.
“Our Power makes it easy for tenants to pay their bills – by offering a range of flexible payment options including by phone, web and mobile devices – however the Hillcrest Energy Advice Team (HEAT) will be available if anyone needs any extra advice or guidance.”