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Housing market will be helped by new affordable homes scheme

The Dumfries and Galloway area of Scotland looks set to benefit from a £13million scheme to build one-hundred new affordable properties across the region. Experts predict the scheme will free up the region’s pressured housing market, not to mention boosting the construction industry.

Councillors will be presented with a proposal on Friday 23rd September where they will be asked to commit to taking out a £9 million loan (70% of the cost). The new homes will be provided for the rental market to start with but eventually they will be sold in order for the money to be recouped. The scheme will be part of the Scottish Government’s National Housing Trust, whose aim it is to provide more affordable homes throughout Scotland. The homes will be targeted for mainly rural areas across the region of Dumfries and Galloway.

If given the green light, the scheme will aim to deliver new-build properties that will be available for rent for between five to ten years. The properties will be covered by landlord insurance up until the time comes to sell them. When the homes are sold, the money generated will be used to repay the council loans to the Public Work Loans Board. The council loan will be guaranteed by the Coalition and will stay in place if any change in Government is made and it will run for the proposed rental period of up to 10 years. The proposal would see both houses and flats with between two and four bedrooms built, mainly in small villages.

Development manager Mr O’Neill said: “The report also recommends that properties made available through the National Housing Trust scheme are primarily targeted at households on low to moderate incomes who are currently on Registered Social Landlord waiting lists and currently not in a priority group for accessing social housing. Sitting tenants will be given the first opportunity to purchase their property when the developer opts to instigate the sale. Should the tenant not opt to buy, it is proposed that local Registered Social Landlords are given the next option to purchase.”

By Simon Dack

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