Rented housing boost

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AN INNOVATIVE £115 million housing initiative will help provide over 50 new affordable homes for rent in the Falkirk area.

According to the Scottish Government and the Scottish Futures Trust, the bodies behind the National Housing Trust (NHT), the scheme is now beginning to produce results.

Local authorities from all over the country, including Falkirk Council, are looking to enter into framework agreements with developers for almost 700 new homes.

Falkirk Council’s housing and social care convener, Councillor Jim Blackwood, said: “Falkirk Council is committed to increasing the supply of affordable housing to meet increasing demand in the area.

“We are pleased two new local housing projects are being progressed under the National Housing Trust initiative.

“While these projects will make an additional 53 new properties available at mid-market rents, we are continuing to build new council houses and work in partnership with housing associations and housing developers to create a range of affordable housing options for local people.”

Under NHT, developers and local authorities jointly fund the purchase of newly-built homes so they can be made available for rent at below market rates.

Housing and Communities Minister Alex Neil said: “The National Housing Trust model breaks new ground in the UK and I am pleased Falkirk Council has embraced this approach as one that can help ease housing pressures locally.

“This initial phase of NHT will provide a substantial boost to the supply of much needed affordable housing in many parts of Scotland, with the potential for almost 800 units to be taken forward to the next stage.”