It's affordable housing, Jim – but not as you know it

We have recently been inspired to learn of a social housing project, pioneered by Roderick James Architects LLP, clients of Murray Snell WS (part of the MacRoberts Group), which has potentially far-reaching implications for society. Here, Gail Clarke, Associate with Murray Snell WS, explains more about this truly remarkable project.

This successful initiative, known as the R-Affordable House, was established by Roderick James Architects on the stunning Morvern Peninsula, giving ex-offenders and ex-service personnel the opportunity to build a quality, affordable house which was filled with light and economical to run, and used sustainable materials in an innovative way.

When ex-offenders are not in work, they are more likely to re-offend; and, with many parts of Scotland in need of far more affordable housing, the solution was clear to our clients: bring the two together – which is what they did.

Four ex-offenders, nominated by the Oswin Project, were employed during the one-year build programme of the pilot house at Lochaline on the West Coast (pictured below). Having been effectively unemployable prior to taking part in this project, three of the four ex-offenders involved are now in full-time employment with other organisations.

Stigma around employing ex-offenders means they often find it extremely difficult to secure regular employment; however, this initiative has demonstrated that they can be an invaluable resource to businesses. In this case, the results of our client’s solution have proven to be not only possible, but also worthwhile and effective, with the house in question now much admired and lived in.

We are extremely proud to act for clients who are involved in the social housing and charities sectors, supporting them with expert advice to ensure that worthy projects, such as this one, become a reality.

No need to beam us up, Scotty.



MacRoberts is fully committed to harnessing the benefits of a diverse workforce, both internally and externally. You can read more about our diversity, equality, inclusion and wellbeing initiatives here.

Gail Clarke is an Associate and Rural specialist within Murray Snell’s Estates, Forestry, Agricultural & Rural team and can be contacted by e-mail at or by telephone on 0131 625 6625.

Murray Snell WS is part of the MacRoberts Group.

Diversity & Wellbeing at MacRoberts

At MacRoberts our goal is for our our staff to feel included, valued and nurtured within their business environment irrespective of their race, gender, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, physical abilities, religious beliefs, political beliefs, or other ideologies.

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