The Melville Story

In 1993 a group of staff from the Dalkeith area office of Scottish Homes teamed up with tenants and local business people to investigate the creation of a new housing association for Midlothian. Realising there were currently no Midlothian-based housing associations they decided to form their own and the result was Melville Housing which was registered as a company on 9 February 1994. Pictured (left) is Melville's first logo.

Following lengthy negotiations with Scottish Homes, and a successful ballot of tenants, the transfer of 2,023 properties and 24 staff took place on Monday 30 October 1995.

In the early years Melville's progress was steady, building its services, staff and management committee. Vital repairs were carried out to homes, while stock numbers gradually declined through right-to-buy losses. At the end of March 1997 Melville owned 1,957 properties and by the end of March 2000, this figure had fallen to 1,773.

Our next significant milestone was achieved in January 2002 when we became a charitable organisation. This ensured that Melville would be in the best position to maximise investment in tenants' homes.

At the end of March 2002 Melville expanded its operations, moving beyond Midlothian for the first time. We took ownership of 52 properties in Forth, South Lanarkshire following a tenant ballot that saw 87% of tenants vote for Melville.

In the same year Melville joined the digital age with the launch of our first ever website. Better late than never! 

2002/2003 was dominated by the introduction of the Housing (Scotland) Act 2001 which saw major changes to the Scottish housing legal system. Like many landlords we found that the introduction of the new Act resulted in a significant increase in house sales with 59 properties sold in the year.

2003/2004 was an extremely significant year for Melville as we started to build new homes for the first time. We completed a 14 flat development at Eskview Road, Mayfield, with the help of Communities Scotland and Castle Rock Housing Association.

2006 saw the appointment of our current chief executive, Andrew Noble, promoted from his previous role of Finance Director. During the year we also completed a new women's refuge in Midlothian on behalf of Women's Aid and two specially adapted family properties for families with disabled children.

For the first time since our formation we were able to report an increase in stock numbers during 2006/07 thanks to the continued success of our development programme. At the same time, in a sign of the times, our housing waiting list increased to over 1,200.

The year saw record investment in new build projects and the introduction of two new services, Tenancy Support and Money Advice, thanks to funding from the Big Lottery.

2008/09 saw the completion of our largest project to date, 32 homes in Gorebridge (pictured right) including our first ever shared-equity properties, sold through the Government's Homestake programme.

Since 2009 we have continued to grow steadily, building new homes thanks to funding from the Scottish Government combined with private finance, buying existing properties both from the Ministry of Defence and from developers struggling to sell in difficult conditions, and stepping in to help owners in danger of losing their homes. As a result of these measures in 2011 our stock numbers passed 1,800. At the same time our waiting list remained at a record high of over 2,300.

In recent years we have also invested a great deal of money improving the homes of our current tenants in order to meet the Scottish Housing Quality Standard ahead of the 2015 deadline. This has included a major window replacement programme that has benefited almost two out of every three Melville homes.

While improving our existing homes remains our top priority we are looking at every opportunity to build more and have recently completed our largest ever development. The project (pictured left) at Langlaw Road, Mayfield, saw 133 family homes built on the edge of Dalkeith and was completed in December 2012. These new properties have increased the number of homes we own by 7%.

In spring 2016, following an 18-month restoration project, Melville moved into new offices at the renovated Dalkeith Corn Exchange. Made possible thanks to generous funding from the Heritage Lottery and Historic Environment Scotland, the £3.8 million project has brought back to life one of Midlothian's most historically significant buildings and also delivered a new museum for Dalkeith as well as facilities for the community.

Melville currently owns and manages almost 2,000 homes, this is more than at any point in the past 15 years. The affects of welfare benefit reforms may make further expansion difficult but we remain committed to meeting the housing needs of Midlothian and continuing to deliver high quality affordable homes for those that need them.

Explore Melville Housing Association

Awards and Certifications Logo IIPLogo PADPIRRV LogoSNS Logo