More money for Island homes

MORE than £2.5 million is to be spent in the Western Isles on increasing the supply of affordable housing, creating jobs and boosting the local economy.

The announcement by the Scottish Government will see all of Scotland’s 32 councils, including the Western Isles receive a share of almost £582 million in subsidy over the next three-years from part of the Affordable Housing Supply Programme (AHSP).

As well as funding much needed affordable homes, the AHSP will also encourage councils and housing associations to make them greener homes by providing a larger Government subsidy for houses built to meet higher standards in areas like energy efficiency.

And rural areas, which experience higher developments costs, will also be helped with higher Government contributions to ensure that housing developments can be successfully delivered in remote parts of the country.

Housing Minister Keith Brown said: “Housing is and will remain a priority for this Government and we will continue to invest in new affordable homes. Despite the severe cuts to our budgets by the UK Government, this is a substantial funding boost that will support house building in the Western Isles.

“We have listened to councils and housing associations in the area and put in place a system of funding for housing based on forward planning instead of making councils and housing associations bid for funds.

“This will provide greater certainty and allow councils to make plans for the future.

“This Government has successfully championed innovation in house building, which means that we can now deliver more houses for the money we spend.

“Against that background, we are also encouraging the construction of greener, more energy efficient homes. And we also recognise the particular challenge for housing in remote and rural areas and will provide greater Government subsidy for housing developments in those areas.

“This funding keeps us on track to deliver more than 6,000 affordable homes per year, of which 4,000 will be social homes. But we must continue to work together to get the most from our resources and ensure that we deliver our vision that everyone should have a safe, warm home which they can afford.”