£30m earmarked for north east affordable homes over next year

invest-aberdeen-aerialThe Scottish Government has identified more than £30 million to deliver affordable housing throughout Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire over the next year.

The £250m Aberdeen City Region Deal, which was announced in January, was accompanied by an additional £254m funding commitment from the Scottish Government unveiled on the same day.

Included in the support from Holyrood was £20m in infrastructure funding to unlock housing sites that are of strategic importance to the local authorities as well as five-year certainty on £130m of affordable housing grant.

Now a progress report on the £254m package has unveiled the terms and conditions of the housing infrastructure fund.

The report said: “Both local authorities have developed strategic local programme agreements with the Scottish Government for 2016/17.

“Sites have been identified in partnership with registered social landlords and developers.

“Spend of approximately £13.5m in Aberdeenshire and £18m in Aberdeen city has been identified for 2016-17.

“These figures may change subject to development timescales and the availability of new opportunities.”

It is anticipated that guidance and an application form for the housing infrastructure fund will be made available shortly. Local partners will need to meet to consider the suitability of the terms and conditions and its attractiveness to the private sector.

The report added: “Once the scheme is in place, officers of the local authorities will carry out feasibility studies to identify those sites which will benefit most from this support, produce best value for the City Region Deal and best support the delivery of affordable housing.

“In addition, officers are seeking to clarify whether further funds could be available following the feasibility studies from the recently announced national £50m infrastructure fund should it be needed.”

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: “As is the case with other city deals, both governments are working together to progress the Aberdeen City Region Deal.

“The Scottish Government has a strong record of investment in the north east. Over and above our £125m City Deal funding we are investing an additional £254m to support transport, housing and digital initiatives.

“Officials are currently working with the relevant councils to support our shared desire to maximise the impact of this planned investment to deliver a more significant step change to the local economy of the north east.”

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