New government fund to unlock house building

Alex Neil announced the new �50m fund
Alex Neil announced the new �50m fund

The Scottish Government has announced a new £50 million infrastructure fund, which it says will speed up construction of thousands of new affordable and private homes.

Social Justice Secretary Alex Neil announced the flexible grant and loan fund this week.

He says it will help unlock strategic housing sites of importance to local authorities to increase the scale of housing delivery.

The fund forms part of a package of measures to support the increase in supply of homes across all tenures.

The new measure is part of the Scottish Government’s five-year commitment to delivering at least 50,000 affordable homes, 70 per cent for social rent, backed by investment of over £3 billion.

Building on the success of the National Housing Trust new financing mechanisms are also being explored to expand mid-market rent developments.

All planning appeals for housing proposals of more than 100 units will now be recalled to ensure housing land supply issues are given ministerial scrutiny.

Mr Neil said: “This announcement underlines this Government’s determination to increase the pace and scale of development to deliver more homes across all tenures.

“The £50 million infrastructure fund will help unblock sites that are strategically important to councils and that have the potential to accelerate the delivery of thousands of new homes across the country.

“To make that happen we will team up with public and private sector bodies to tackle complex development, financing, infrastructure and planning issues impeding housing supply.

“We will also explore more innovative financing to build more homes for mid-market rent.”

Tom Barclay, co-chair of the Joint Housing Policy Delivery Group, said: “As Co-Chair I hope I can speak for all the Group members in saying that we stand ready to work in partnership with the Scottish Government to take up the challenge in providing the much needed additional, affordable and high quality housing, that will not only help revitalise communities across the country, but will also make a significant contribution to the Scottish economy and our long term prosperity.”