Measures unveiled to accelerate house building.

A new £50 million infrastructure fund will speed up construction of thousands of new affordable and private homes, Social Justice Secretary Alex Neil announced today.

The flexible grant and loan fund 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.

Key to this overall approach is 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.

During a visit to Clyde Valley Housing Association’s new development in Kilsyth, Mr Neil said:

“Today's 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.

"We have listened to our partners and are putting in place measures to support the increase in the supply of homes across all tenures, support jobs in the construction industry, and encourage inclusive growth in the wider economy.”

Tom Barclay, co-chair of the Joint Housing Policy Delivery Group, said:

“This announcement by the Cabinet Secretary on infrastructure support is one of a series of actions that is signalling a step change in Scotland to prioritise the building of new homes.

“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.”

Source: Scottish Government

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