A Scottish housing charity has made its first move into Glasgow to help tackle a severe shortage of affordable properties to rent in the city and is now inviting applications from tenants.
LAR Housing Trust launched in October 2015 with the aim of providing approximately 1,000 properties at mid-market rents across Scotland over the next five years.
It has now concluded a deal with developer Kier Living to purchase 40 two bed flats in Glasgow at the site of the former Belvidere Hospital in the East End of the city.
LAR chairman, Andrew Robertson, said: “This is our first venture in Glasgow and is an important milestone in our journey. Our development at Belvidere Village will offer long term security to our tenants who will enjoy the benefits of a good quality, brand new home at affordable prices.”
The flats, which will be rented out for around £525 per calendar month, are being built in two blocks with the first expected to be complete next month and the second block of 20 ready for tenants in June this year.
Infiniti Properties has just been appointed as managing agent for the site and prospective tenants should get in touch with the company’s Glasgow office.
Minister for local government and housing, Kevin Stewart, said: “It’s great to see LAR develop these new homes in Glasgow as part of its commitment to deliver affordable
mid-rent homes across Scotland. These will help address housing needs in Glasgow and give a boost to local communities, providing many people with high quality homes.
“Innovative financial schemes such as the one used by LAR are supporting the Scottish Government’s pledge to deliver 50,000 affordable homes during the lifetime of this Parliament, with our ambitious targets backed by an investment of more than £3 billion.”
LAR has already completed deals at nine other sites across Scotland with the initial emphasis on Aberdeen and surrounding area, Edinburgh and the Lothians – areas with the highest private rents in Scotland.
The move into Glasgow has also been welcomed by the city council and Councillor George Redmond, executive member for jobs, business and investment, who said: “It is great to see the continued transformation of this area, with local people now having greater access to these high quality homes through this project. I would like to offer my congratulations to LAR on this achievement in Glasgow, which will make a real difference to people’s lives in a community I know very well.”
Nick Moore, managing director of developer Kier Living, added: “Partnerships with organisations like LAR are an important part of our business. This site, just two miles from the city centre, will offer LAR’s tenants a good quality affordable home and crucially the stability that long-term security can bring. We’re delighted to be working with LAR to help address an important housing issue.”
LAR has a number of other sites around the country under consideration at the moment, but Robertson believes its success depends on continued good relations with key players in the construction sector.
He said: “Developers and builders around Scotland have been quick to offer us homes and we have had an impressive first year. With over 100 homes already occupied by tenants and a further 105 under construction, we have certainly achieved more than expected since our launch. However, we need the building community to continue its support of us going forward.”