New affordable housing plan could see thousands of homes built in Aberdeenshire over next five years

New affordable housing plan could see thousands of homes built in Aberdeenshire over next five years

More than 2,000 homes could be built across Aberdeenshire over the next five years under Aberdeenshire Council’s latest strategic housing investment plan.

The council’s Strategic Housing Investment Plan (SHIP) for 2022-2027 sets out investment priorities for affordable housing and how they will be provided, working in partnership with other housing providers.

The plan supports the delivery of Aberdeenshire Council’s Local Housing Strategy, and continues the ongoing work to develop new properties across the area.

A key focus of the SHIP is around the development of energy efficient properties, both in terms of reducing carbon emissions but also so that it is more cost-effective for residents to keep homes warm.

Up to 2,184 new homes could be created in total, subject to finance, with 612 suitable for those with particular needs, including 248 which could be wheelchair-accessible.

The plan recognises that challenges remain in the housing market due to the impact of coronavirus but notes that number of properties being completed last year had risen from the year before.

Over the course of 2020/2021, a total of 171 new properties were built, and work is currently underway to develop 312 properties for social rent.

Of these new rental properties, 67 are being delivered via the council’s ‘new build’ programme, with registered social landlords providing the remaining 245.

The developments will provide accommodation in Fraserburgh, Banff, Peterhead, Newburgh, Kintore, Insch, Ballater, Banchory, Kincardine O’Neil, Stonehaven, Newtonhill, Laurencekirk, Marykirk and St Cyrus.

Work has also begun on the development of 34 units for mid-market rent at Chapelton, and a further 23 shared equity properties and two low-cost shared equity properties at Stonehaven, Chapelton and Ellon.

Councillor Anne Stirling, chair of Aberdeenshire Council’s Communities Committee, said: “As ever, the plan is ambitious and one that we will do our best to achieve in full. Its delivery is reliant on a range of external factors during what is still a very challenging time but we will make the most of every opportunity that arises.

“The new SHIP will support the ongoing delivery of high quality and energy efficient homes, including specialist housing provision and support, as well as improving choice for those looking for accommodation.”

Councillor Judy Whyte, committee vice-chair, added: “As well as increasing the amount of affordable housing available, the SHIP focuses on enabling people with particular needs to access suitable accommodation to help them live as independently as possible.

“Energy efficiency is also very important given the challenges around energy costs, and that has been a key factor in shaping the plan. Beyond that, the plan will also support local housebuilding and contributes towards the delivery of the Scottish Government’s Housing to 2040 vision.”

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