A charitable trust incorporated in 2009, the Nith Valley Leaf Trust (NVLT) was set up to develop sustainable community development projects, and is based in Closeburn, Dumfries & Galloway.
To address concerns in the area around the lack of affordable family-sized houses for rent and fuel poverty in the area, NVLT worked with South of Scotland Community Housing (SOSCH) to develop Scotland’s first community-owned, passive-certified homes for affordable rent.
Passivhaus buildings provide a high level of comfort while using very little energy for heating and cooling, helping the environment whilst also reducing heating costs.
Completed in 2020, the Passivhaus (or Passivhoos) project was built on disused land which was asset-transferred from Dumfries & Galloway Council.
The new tenants for the houses were chosen through an independent allocation process looking at their housing needs, suitability and connection to the local community.
With the Passivhaus standard it is expected that tenants will only need to pay around £300 per year for heating. Reducing fossil fuel consumption along with household bills and fuel poverty is a great example of an innovative community approach to tackling local concerns.
The project won the 2020 SURF Award for ‘Housing and Regeneration.’