Scottish Borders Council to deliver significant increase of affordable homes
Significantly more affordable homes could be delivered in 2021/22 than Scottish Borders Council’s annual target thanks to increased funding and the commitment of a range of local partners, including the region’s four registered social landlords, the local authority has revealed.
Potentially 312 new affordable homes across the Scottish Borders are projected to be completed in the current financial year, well above the 128 target, and the 107 delivered in 2020/21.
The projections were presented to the council’s Executive Committee on Tuesday, as part of the rolling five-year Strategic Housing Investment Plan (SHIP).
Councillor Mark Rowley, SBC’s executive member for economic regeneration and finance, said: “Considering the challenges experienced during 2020/21, including lockdowns and supply issues, it is remarkable that our partners got so close to the annual target in that 12 month period.
“The projection for the current financial year further emphasises the incredible commitment of everyone involved in our collaborative efforts to ensure we meet the housing needs of Borderers and also those who wish to move to the area.”
He added: “Growing the population across the south of Scotland will be a key aim of the forthcoming Regional Economic Strategy and the creation of hundreds of new affordable homes can contribute greatly to both retaining young people in the Scottish Borders and attracting people to relocate here.
“The Scottish Borders is an incredibly attractive place for people to live, from our scenery to our events and our local businesses to the activities available for all ages. In the post-pandemic world, we can really capitalise on the increased ability to work from home to attract even more people to the region, alongside our continued commitment to supporting businesses to grow and to increasing the number and quality of jobs available here too.”
Increased funding from the Scottish Government, council investment from second homes council tax and the lending arrangements established by local registered social landlords are supporting the construction of new affordable homes.
The SHIP, which sets out how affordable housing projects are prioritised and how new projects will be delivered, is submitted to the Scottish Government every year.
The four largest registered social landlords active in Scottish Borders are Berwickshire Housing Association, Eildon Housing Association, Scottish Borders Housing Association and Waverley Housing.