SNP MSP Joan McAlpine has welcomed a new £25 million fund from the Scottish Government to build affordable homes in rural areas including Dumfriesshire.
The MSP said the Scottish Government’s Rural Housing Fund, which will increase supply of long term affordable housing in rural areas over the next three years, will “boost house building and regeneration” in the region.
Thornhill based Dumfries and Galloway Small Communities housing Trust was already working with the Scottish government to deliver housing locally.
The fund will assist both the building of new homes and refurbishment of existing buildings, contributing to the Scottish Government’s commitment to build 50,000 new homes across Scotland over the next five years, backed by £3bn.
And 70% of these will be for rent within the social housing sector.
Commenting, Joan McAlpine MSP said:
“I’m delighted to welcome this new fund which will boost house building and regeneration in rural areas such as ours. Good quality, affordable housing is essential if we want to ensure Scotland’s more rural communities are viable places to live and work.
The fund is open to a wide range of applicants, including long-established affordable housing providers, and also community-led organisations and private landowners, enabling them to take a more active role in meeting the housing needs of their community.
Ms McAlpine is encouraging interested parties to make contact with Dumfries and Galloway Small Communities Housing Trust for advice and support in relation to the fund and project development and delivery.
“It’s great news that this fund will be available to community groups and private developers in Dumfriesshire. We have an excellent resource locally in The Dumfries and Galloway Small Communities Housing Trust which is able to assist in the development of projects.”
The Chief Executive of the Trust, Mike Staples, said:
“The Dumfries and Galloway Small Communities Housing Trust strongly welcomes the announcement by the Scottish Government of the Rural Housing Fund. The scale and nature of this fund provides us with the opportunity to support the development and delivery of much needed rural housing projects in the region, with a particular emphasis on community-led housing and partnership working.
“Over the past few months, the Trust has worked closely with Scottish Government officers and acted as a key consultee in the development of the fund.”
In addition to providing support toward the capital costs of housing projects, the Rural Housing Fund will offer much needed feasibility support to enable organisations to develop robust plans for their projects.
Mr Staples added:
“We will now be working to support applications for feasibility and capital funding from community groups with whom we have already been engaged, but also invite other community organisations and landowners to contact the Small Communities Housing Trust at this stage.”
Notes to Editors
Contact details for initial enquiries to Mike Staples at firstname.lastname@example.org or 01848332516
Further information on the Rural Housing Fund can be found at http://bit.ly/ruralhousingfund
Projects will be eligible if they fall within classes 4, 5 and 6 of the 6 fold urban rural classification – see table below:
Scottish Government 6 fold Urban Rural Classification
1 Large Urban Areas
Settlements of 125,000 or more people.
2 Other Urban Areas
Settlements of 10,000 to 124,999 people.
3 Accessible Small Towns
Settlements of 3,000 to 9,999 people and within 30 minutes’ drive of a settlement of 10,000 or more.
4 Remote Small Towns
Settlements of 3,000 to 9,999 people and with a drive time of over 30 minutes to a settlement of 10,000 or more.
5 Accessible Rural
Areas with a population of less than 3,000 people, and within a 30 minute drive time of a settlement of 10,000 or more.
6 Remote Rural
Areas with a population of less than 3,000 people, and with a drive time of over 30 minutes to a settlement of 10,000 or more.