A further round of procurement has been launched in the drive to build more affordable housing.
The National Housing Trust initiative (NHT), which is already seeing more than 1,000 properties being built across Scotland, allows developers and councils to jointly fund the purchase of new homes, with local authority loans to the initiative being underwritten by the Scottish Government.
Homes are available for rent at below market rates for five to 10 years before being sold, with tenants given priority to buy at the end of the rental period.
Thirteen developers across 10 council areas have signed up to the initiative and hundreds of families have moved into new homes. Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh and Fife councils are participating in the latest round.
Christa Reekie, commercial director at the Scottish Futures Trust, said: “Whilst meeting the needs for affordable housing for rent, the NHT initiative, currently worth £150m, has also been designed to aid the economy and keep people in jobs by allowing developers and house builders to kick-start construction on stalled sites.
“We are confident that the local authorities will receive very competitive tenders from local builders and developers keen to get construction moving again on their sites.”
Neil Cooney, Aberdeen City Council’s housing convener, added: “The participation in NHT shows Aberdeen City Council’s commitment to providing new affordable housing in the city and complements its own new build housing programme over the past couple of years.
“We will continue to work in partnership with developers, registered social landlords and the Scottish Government to ensure we are doing all we can to continue to address housing need in Aberdeen.”
In Edinburgh, meanwhile, construction is under way on a development of 60 affordable homes in the Craigmillar area.
The £6m Greendykes C project is part of the council’s 21st Century Homes for Edinburgh programme to build up to 1,400 homes to rent or buy. The programme has already seen more than 100 completed in the Gracemount area.
Greendykes C includes the first local authority homes to be built in Craigmillar for a generation. Constructed by Hart Builders, it will include a mix of fuel-efficient houses and flats.
Housing leader councillor Cammy Day said: “This is a fantastic project, forming an important part of Craigmillar’s regeneration. It is vital that we tackle Edinburgh’s shortage of affordable homes and projects like this are an important step in this direction.
“We are committed to working with our partner organisations to deliver more developments like Greendykes, which not only provide much-needed homes but also create jobs and boost the local economy.”
Greendykes C follows a number of regeneration projects that are changing the face of Craigmillar as part of an ‘urban development framework’. Demolition of older buildings and construction of 593 new homes over the last eight years in the centre of Craigmillar, Niddrie Burn and Greendykes North have all contributed to the pace of change. The council is also investing £4m in refurbishing properties in the neighbourhood.
Two other developments providing 76 homes on Niddrie House Park and Collier Place are also under construction for completion by September.