Scottish Futures Trust helps deliver 3,000 affordable homes

Homes delivered through the NHT initiative
Homes delivered through the NHT initiative

The Scottish Futures Trust (SFT) has helped secure the delivery of 3,000 affordable homes for rent, according to new figures.

The annual benefits statement from the SFT has claimed that the agency has delivered a raft of community infrastructure projects worth £135 million in its latest financial year.

Through its highly successful National Housing Trust (NHT) programme, over 1,000 affordable rent homes have been built and occupied to date, benefiting well over 1,250 residents.

Across Scotland a further 1,000 NHT homes are either under construction or in the development stage with Edinburgh to further benefit from a recent procurement securing 400 more homes.

Supplementary to the NHT programme, the LAR Housing Trust was launched in October 2015. After development work by SFT, LAR (Local Affordable Rent) was established as an independent housing charity to initially deliver 1,000 mid-market rent homes over the next five years.

SFT prioritises its efforts on achieving value for money in designing and building public infrastructure such as schools, roads and hospitals, or more recently on infrastructure for digital communications. SFT also looks at where public sector buildings can be used more efficiently and effectively which in turn will deliver savings, carbon reductions, or create additional revenue.

Other examples of the impact SFT’s work include delivering cost-effective ways to provide wi-fi access to social housing tenants for £1 a week and helping councils save £1.2bn by giving them the tools to invest in low-energy LED street lights.

Sir Angus Grossart, SFT’s chairman, said: “With no let-up to the pressure public sector organisations are under, SFT is doing all it can to squeeze the maximum value out of every pound invested and secure additional sources of investment in Scotland’s essential infrastructure.

“Central to SFT’s success in delivering £135m of savings and benefits this year has been purposeful collaboration with local authorities, health boards and other public bodies across Scotland to unlock value from the numerous infrastructure projects they deliver.”

Barry White, SFT’s chief executive, added: “Ultimately, the impact of SFT’s work helps make a difference to people’s lives; whether that is helping secure future employment; opening up new training and apprenticeship opportunities; implementing initiatives to help protect the environment; expanding access to superfast broadband or by improving working environments by having flexible, well designed buildings.

“In addition, the many projects currently under construction across SFT’s varied work streams are impacting positively on Scotland’s economy, with Scotland’s construction industry witnessing significant growth at over 18 per cent for the last year.”

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