Scottish housing boost

Published:  27 September, 2010

EDINBURGH: Bidding opened for a £130m funding initiative to trigger building more than 1000 new homes for rent across Scotland.

The National Housing Trust initiative, a joint project of the Scottish Government and the Scottish Futures Trust, proposes a new funding model for affordable housing.

The aim is kick-start activity on mothballed building sites. Under the scheme, local authorities receive loans to finance newbuilds, paying 65% of the purchase price up front to an affiliated developer.

The properties are sold after an agreed rental period and the income used to pay outstanding loans.

The bid notice estimates that spending on housing could eventually reach £300m.

Twelve authorities have signed up, including Glasgow City Council, City of Edinburgh Council, Highland Council and Stirling Council.

In Edinburgh, where 600 NHT homes are sought, Scottish Housing and Communities Minister Alex Neil said: "Building more affordable homes across Scotland presents a formidable challenge in a climate of increasing financial constraint.

"The National Housing Trust model breaks new ground and I am delighted that so many councils have embraced this approach as one that can help solve housing pressures locally."

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