Pension scheme helps build 300 homes

Social justice secretary Alex Neil joins works foreman Roy White at the Larbert building site
Social justice secretary Alex Neil joins works foreman Roy White at the Larbert building site

Falkirk Council employees’ pension scheme has supplied £30 million to build over 300 new affordable homes in Scotland.

Falkirk’s Local Government Pension Scheme Fund allowed fund manager Hearthstone Investments to invest in social and affordable housing, including the construction of 96 social homes in Falkirk.

Scottish social justice secretary Alex Neil visited Larbert this week to see the plans in action.

He said: “Falkirk’s £30 million investment will, I believe, encourage other local authority pension fund trustees to invest in housing.

“For an acceptable risk, investment will provide pension funds good, long-term returns for their members and help build stronger communities.”

Hearthstone predicts its Housing Fund for Scotland will achieve £150 million total investment from a number of pension funds, delivering over 1000 affordable and private rented homes throughout the country.

Councillor John Patrick, convener of Falkirk Council’s pensions committee, said: “Funding housing projects through the pension fund is testament to the creative thinking of the council, the pensions committee and our partners. We can build 96 properties without any financial impact on the council, but still help those tenants looking for an affordable home.”