£90,000 Challenge Fund announced to encourage custom and self-built homes

self-build-house-stockHousing minister Kevin Stewart has today announced £90,000 to support pilot projects to assist people wanting to build their own homes with a new Challenge Fund.

Speaking at the closing event of the Festival of Architecture in Edinburgh, Mr Stewart will confirm the new fund will be open for applications by the end of October.

Mr Stewart said: “I am delighted to be part of this month-long celebration of Scottish Architecture, its legacy and in particular, this year’s special Festival of Architecture theme, our homes. The Festival, running alongside Scottish Civic Trust’s Doors Open Days, has shown that people across the country can be more confident about engaging with architecture and all aspects of the design of our public spaces. With more than 50 events there has been something for everyone, whether hands on experiences, participation, purely entertainment, challenging or educational.

“The new Challenge Fund I am announcing today will also help those with ambitions to create their own homes, encouraging and supporting them to make bold decisions based on their needs and circumstances. Good quality, inspirational housing can have an impact on almost every aspect of our lives, it provides security and comfort and a place to raise our families. This fund will give people greater choice in how they live.

“Today we are also publishing new guidance on Building to Rent as a result of partnership with building industries. We want to encourage this growing sector which provides high-quality, professionally-managed homes and support our local authorities to deliver for communities across the country.”

Today’s conference Housing – the future is being run by Scottish Government, Planning & Architecture Division (PAD), as a free event as part of the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) Festival of Architecture 2017, and in conjunction with Architecture & Design Scotland (ADS). The programme has been designed to share approaches to housing delivery at a range of scales and to also profile a range of work happening at a strategic, city and rural level to diversify the delivery of homes across Scotland.

RIAS President Stewart Henderson said: “In 2015, for the first time since its inauguration in 2002, the RIAS Andrew Doolan Award for best building in Scotland was won by a housing project. Housing continues to be a key focus of architect’s endeavours.

“Our publication - Home: Housing Scotland 2000-2020, the first in our 2020 Visions series for the Festival of Architecture, amply demonstrates it is something Scottish architects do extremely well. The 100 houses and housing developments which make up this volume are as good a demonstration as any of the contribution architecture can make to improving people’s lives.”

In response to the Scottish Government giving renewed support to the Build to Rent sector, James R Blakey, director of planning at Moda Living, said: “We welcome today’s planning advice from the Scottish Government which clearly highlights the social and economic role Build to Rent can play in delivering quality housing for Scotland. The government’s advice is clear in recognising the special characteristics of Build to Rent as something built for the long-term, while highlighting the exceptional opportunity to offer living environments in accessible locations that offer a range of amenities and social spaces.

“Alongside our JV partner Apache Capital, we have made a substantial commitment to Scotland, and today’s announcement reinforces our solid belief that Build to Rent can make a substantial and meaningful contribution to the Scottish housing market whilst supporting wider economic growth and urban regeneration.”

Read the Build to Rent guidance here.

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