Scottish government announces funds raised for affordable housing
The Scottish government has announced that plans to help fund the building of new affordable homes have raised £15 million.
It said the Charitable Bond Investment Programme saw around £90 million worth of bonds being issued in the last couple of years, with all profits allocated to charity. Ministers decided that this source of funding would be dedicated entirely to helping fund affordable housing schemes and providers.
The £15 million was announced by housing minister Kevin Stewart during a visit to a development in the Countesswells area of Aberdeen, which is being funded by Hillcrest Housing Association and constructed by building contractor Milne. £4 million from the fund will go to the development of 52 cheap rental homes there.
Mr Stewart said: "We are committed to delivering at least 50,000 affordable homes over this parliament, backed by £3 billion of investment. These charitable donations and developments like Hillcrest’s are a great example of how we are meeting that commitment and giving people a helping hand on to the housing ladder - a core part of our drive to make Scotland fairer and more prosperous."
Managing director of Stewart Milne Homes North John Lowe noted that the firm has already delivered more than 200 homes via the National Housing Trust initiative, and will be at the "forefront of delivery" of more affordable homes in the years ahead.
Although progress in building more affordable homes through schemes such as this will help, it will not eliminate the lack of affordable homes in Scotland where, like other parts of the UK, many will seek to rent via the private sector instead of buying.
While prices in Scotland are lower than in many parts of Britain, so is average pay, although Aberdeen is something of an exception due to the wealth generated by its oil industry in recent decades - wealth that has diminished in the last couple of years due to the decline in prices.