£50M BOOST FOR HOUSEBUILDING

A new £50m infrastructure fund to help facilitate housebuilding across all sectors has been announced by the Scottish government.

Social Justice Secretary Alex Neil says 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.

The administration is committed to delivering at least 50,000 affordable homes, 70 per cent for social rent, backed by investment of over £3 billion over the next five years.

But NICOLA BARCLAY, Chief Executive of trade body Homes for Scotland, gave a guarded welcome. “New homes need to be connected to existing facilities such as roads, water and drainage.  New residents also need to have access to local services.

 “The challenge for home builders, however, is that they are often asked to make large financial contributions to meet these costs up-front, before they have begun to build and sell the new homes.  This can present cash-flow issues and even make some developments unviable.

“We keenly await further details on today’s announcement but this national recognition of what is a massive barrier to the building of much needed new homes of all tenures is welcomed.”

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