EFFORTS are being made to tackle a "chronic shortage" of affordable housing in a Scottish island.

Only about half the homes in Raasay - which has a population of just 179- are occupied full-time with about 34% of properties being second homes.

Raasay Development Trust is now trying to boost the availability of affordable homes through a building project and buying an existing property for community use.

Tom Luskin, a community development officer on Raasay, told the BBC: "On the island of Raasay we do have a bit of a chronic housing shortage, and we have also got a general housing problem and that is with the quality of housing.

"A lot of it is subpar."

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Last summer, new research warned that up to 1700 jobs across Skye and Lochalsh would sit vacant in 2022 because workers could not find a home in the area.

There are currently 41 people on the local housing list and more than 4% of the population live in static caravans.

The development trust is working with Lochalsh and Skye Housing Association and Communities Housing Trust to develop five new properties for affordable rent, and is making available five serviced self-build plots.

It is also in the process of purchasing an older terraced property in the village of Inverarish - Inverarish House. 

Some previous house sales have seen the properties later being turned into holiday accommodation, and Raasay Development Trust was worried it would miss out on the recent sale because it can take six months to secure funding.

Rather than waiting for funding, Lochalsh and Skye Housing Association is in the process of purchasing the house.

Luskin said: "It's been a lot of scratching of heads. There is not a pro forma for what is happening here."

With Raasay being one of the Scottish Government's Carbon Neutral Islands, there are plans to make the house energy efficient once the purchase is secured.

The others are Barra, Great Cumbrae, Hoy, Islay and Yell and funding is available to help islanders reduce their carbon emissions.