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24 April 2023

New funding towards affordable rural housing for key workers

Local authorities will have new access to up to £25 million in funding to identify affordable homes in rural areas for key workers.

Scottish Government has announced new funding for councils to support key workers through identification and allocation of affordable homes in rural communities.

The five-year Affordable Housing Supply Programme (AHSP), set out in the Scottish Government’s priorities for the next three years, will enable councils and registered social landlords to acquire or lease properties which can be used to provide homes that meet community needs.

The AHSP will enable affordable housing providers to deliver homes for social rent, mid-market rent and low-cost home ownership.

£25 million will be made available from 2023-28 to utilise underused or empty properties by making them available for key workers and others in need.

Key workers include those working in the public sector and emergency services, with the full definition and inclusions determined by individual councils based on the local priorities of the area.

The Scottish Government has provided Local Housing Strategy Guidance that instructs local authorities on how they are expected to take key worker needs into account through specific policies.

Paul McLennan, Minister for Housing, said:

“Opportunity, equality and community are vital to everyone no matter wherever they live, and we recognise that a tailored approach is needed for our rural areas.

“Good quality affordable housing is essential to attract and retain people in rural communities, particularly in areas where key workers are needed. […]

“Delivering affordable homes is a priority for this government. We have committed to delivering 110,000 affordable homes across Scotland by 2032 – with at least 10% in remote, rural and island areas. Our upcoming delivery plan will set out actions to support our rural and island communities including areas such as transport, repopulation and economic development.”

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