New funding package for community housing trusts to deliver affordable homes

New funding package for community housing trusts to deliver affordable homes

A housing development in Gairloch

Up to £960,000 is to be made available to support the delivery of affordable homes and facilities in remote and rural areas.

Provided jointly by the Scottish Government and Nationwide Foundation, funding for Communities Housing Trust and South of Scotland Community Housing over three years will deliver affordable housing projects.

Housing minister Paul McLennan made the announcement during a visit to Auchtercairn development in Gairloch, Wester Ross, where Communities Housing Trust, together with Albyn Housing Association and Highland Council, have delivered a mix of 25 affordable homes, shops, a café, tourism hub, and education, community and commercial facilities.

Community housing trusts are charitable organisations that engage with local communities to promote, support and develop community-led affordable homes.

The funding meets a commitment in the Bute House Agreement to ensure community housing trusts are adequately funded so they can support the delivery of rural homes.

Housing minister Paul McLennan said: “Community housing trusts play an essential role in supporting the delivery of affordable homes in rural and island areas. This development is a great example of how community-led organisations can build homes that meet the needs of local people.

“That is why I am pleased the Scottish Government is providing new funding for these organisations, provided in partnership with the Nationwide Foundation.

“Good quality housing is essential to attract and retain people in remote, rural and island communities and the Scottish Government has committed to delivering 110,000 affordable homes by 2032 – with at least 10% in remote, rural and island areas.

“We are providing support of up to £30 million over this parliament through our Rural and Island Housing Fund. We are also developing a Remote, Rural and Islands Housing Action Plan, to be published in Autumn.”

Interim chief executive of Nationwide Foundation Sam Stewart said: “Community-led housing, if delivered at scale, offers a genuine alternative to mainstream forms of development and a strong mechanism for delivering affordable homes.

“The conditions for this to happen are strong in Scotland, and we believe that Communities Housing Trust and South of Scotland Community Housing’s work, which we have been funding for several years, will help to realise that aim.”

Chief executives of Communities Housing Trust and South of Scotland Community Housing, Ronnie MacRae and Mike Staples, said: “This funding package means our organisations can provide early-stage engagement and support to a greater number and range of rural communities facing extreme housing pressures. Enabling communities to increase knowledge and capacity to deliver projects, significantly increasing the pipeline of deliverable affordable homes that meet local needs.

“We are very grateful for the opportunities this will provide to raise awareness and grow the community-led housing model across Scotland.”

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