Builders urged to join affordable housing scheme

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Scottish Ministers are urging house builders to join a scheme to deliver hundreds of new affordable homes across Scotland.  Over 600 homes have already been approved under phase one of the initiative, with the first homes expected to be completed shortly.

Almost half of Scotland’s 32 Councils are taking part in phase two of the National Housing Trust initiative (NHT).

The NHT allows developers and Councils to jointly fund homes with local authority loans to the scheme being underwritten by the Scottish Government.

Homes will be available for rent below market value for five to 10 years before being sold, with tenants given priority to buy.

In Edinburgh to view progress on 62 affordable homes being built by People for Places as part of phase one of the NHT, Housing Minister Keith Brown said:

“As the savage Westminster cuts to our capital budget begin to bite, schemes such as the NHT are increasingly at the forefront of our drive for innovation.

“In Edinburgh, I have seen how the success of phase one demonstrates the willingness of developers and Councils to embrace the opportunities offered by this new approach.

“Hundreds of affordable rented homes are already being delivered across the country supporting jobs in the construction sector and wider economy for very little taxpayers’ money.

“Clearly, there is a substantial appetite for the next round of NHT and I would urge house builders and councils to get involved by submitting Pre-Qualification Questionnaires to the Scottish Futures Trust(SFT) by noon on Monday, January 9.”

Councillor Paul Edie, Housing Leader for the City of Edinburgh Council, said:

“Working with the Scottish Government we are a key partner in the NHT and together we are committed to supporting the construction industry, building badly-needed homes and creating and sustaining jobs.

“This year funding has been approved for a record 1,500 new affordable homes in Edinburgh. None of this would be possible without the commitment of the Council, housing associations and developers working together to create new investment opportunities.”

Neil Rutherford, associate director with the Scottish Futures Trust which manages the National Housing Trust (NHT) programme, stated:

“The NHT programme has created a new and successful way to deliver affordable housing and key to its continued success is to build upon the unique partnerships that are being created between SFT, Scottish Government, councils and house builders.

“As a result, this has given all stakeholders the confidence that the market will be receptive to the launch of NHT Phase 2 and SFT is delighted to be involved in this much needed boost for the housing sector.

“It’s just over a year since we launched NHT with over 600 homes being built right across Scotland, helping to protect hundreds of construction jobs and unlocking doors to mothballed construction sites. Crucially, we expect very soon to welcome the very first tenants to benefit from the programme into their new homes.”