Report reveals ‘low’ level of interest in affordable housing across Aberdeenshire

Brand new homes in Ellon from Create Homes Aberdeenshire LLP
Brand new homes in Ellon from Create Homes Aberdeenshire LLP

Interest in an affordable housing scheme has been “low” across Aberdeenshire, according to a new report.

The Create Homes Aberdeenshire scheme was launched in 2015 in a bid to see mid-market rental properties built across the region to address the high demand for affordable housing.

The initiative aimed to build 160 mid-market rental properties for key workers in the area by March 2018, with the initial 24 created in Westhill in January 2016. A further 15 properties have been delivered in Ellon, with an additional 12 in Stonehaven contracted for completion in late summer 2017.

A report by Stephen Archer, director of infrastructure services at Aberdeenshire Council, said the need for key worker housing has lessened compared to previous years.

He told the Aberdeen Evening Express: “The reduction in oil price and the subsequent downturn in the Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire employment market has in turn led to a reduction in market rent levels and an increase in supply of residential property to lease.

“It was noted in a report to committee on September 1 2016 that the need for key worker housing had eased from its position in previous years.

“Levels of interest in Create Homes Aberdeenshire properties has been low, however officers have taken steps to minimise risk and secure tenancies, including appointment of marketing agents.”

The report said officers will continue to pursue opportunities to deliver mid-market rent accommodation in Aberdeenshire, including at Cameron Street, Stonehaven, and Blackhall Road, Inverurie.

Over the period from April 2016 to March 2017, 220 new affordable homes have been completed or are expected to be completed across Aberdeenshire.

This includes 135 new homes for social rent, 48 for mid-market rent and 37 for low cost shared equity.

A further 14 accessed affordable home ownership through the resale of existing low cost properties.

Work has also begun, or is about to, to deliver a further 359 units for social rent, 20 mid market and 12 for low cost shared equity across Aberdeenshire.

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