Date lodged: 23 May 2017
To ask the Scottish Government what recent steps it has taken to increase the number of affordable homes for (a) rent and (b) purchase in rural communities.
Answered by: Kevin Stewart 31 May 2017
The Scottish Government understands how important good quality housing is for Scotland’s future prosperity and for the strength and diversity of our communities. That is why over the lifetime of this Parliament we are investing over £3 billion to deliver at least 50,000 affordable homes across Scotland, in both rural and urban communities, 35,000 of which will be for social rent.
Through the Affordable Housing Supply Programme we have various housing initiatives designed to increase the number of affordable homes for rent or purchase which will benefit rural Scotland. However, we understand that people in rural areas can face particular and specific difficulties in finding affordable homes to rent or buy. To this end we launched a £30 million Rural and Islands Housing Fund in 2016 to run for three years until 2018-19. This fund is open to a wide range of organisations and aims to increase the supply of long term affordable housing of all tenures in rural areas. It provides capital funding (grant or loan) to enable provision of both new build and refurbishment of empty properties and contributions of up to £10,000 for feasibility work.