Scottish Borders Council exceeds affordable housing targets

Scottish Borders CouncilScottish Borders Council has surpassed its affordable housing targets for the 2015/16 financial year and also over the last four years.

An updated report on the council’s Strategic Housing Investment Plan 2015-20 revealed that 220 affordable homes were delivered in the Scottish Borders during the 2015/16 financial year, taking the four-year total to 467.

Among the developments delivered during 2015/16 were 32 homes at Acredale, Eyemouth and 13 at Standalane Way, Peebles.

Significant additional funding from the Scottish Government to the council for affordable homes delivery will help contribute to the delivery of further projects and land acquisition.

Councillor Frances Renton, SBC’s executive member for social work and housing, said: “I am delighted that we have managed to exceed the target number of affordable homes delivered in 2015/16, and as a result over a four-year period.

“This is very positive news for local people who want to live and work in the Scottish Borders but are not in a position to buy their own property or rent at market rates.

“The additional funding from the Scottish Government, now £8.6 million, will make a significant contribution towards our ongoing annual affordable homes target and I look forward to seeing even more new tenants enjoy the benefits of properties available for social and mid-market rents, and through Bridge Homes, the council’s own initiative to deliver affordable homes in the Scottish Borders.”

Councillor Frances Renton and Margaret Burgess MSP officially opened new homes in Peebles in January
Councillor Frances Renton and Margaret Burgess MSP officially opened new homes in Peebles in January

Of the 220 homes delivered in 15/16, 184 were for social rent and mid-market rent by registered social landlords (RSLs), 12 for mid-market rent via the council’s National Housing Trust Local Authority Variant initiative Bridge Homes and 12 through the Scottish Government’s Open Market Shared Ownership mechanism. The remaining 11 homes were individual house purchases by RSLs.

Bridge Homes was legally established in 2014-15 as the Limited Liability Partnership which owns the homes produced by the council’s National Housing Trust initiative.

The initiative currently owns 10 homes at Castle View, Ayton, and Queen Elizabeth Drive, Galashiels. A further 13 homes were completed at Standalane Way Peebles and were officially opened by Margaret Burgess, minister for housing and welfare in January 2016. In April, a further eight homes were completed in Denholm, bringing the total to 31 homes for mid-market rent via Bridge Homes.

Current estimates see the delivery of 107 new affordable homes for 2016-2017, however this figure does not take account of open market shared equity, discounted sales or other opportunistic acquisitions that may be completed during the period.

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