In 2017 Rural Housing Scotland undertook research looking at the level of Scottish Government investment being made to build affordable rural housing. These are the key findings:
Rural Scotland is home to 17.29% of the population but received just 6.16% of Scottish Government investment in 2015/16.
Rural areas have received a third of the level of investment their population merits since 2012/13.
Most house completions classified as “rural” by the Scottish Government are in fact built in small towns or other urban areas.
In 2016/17 just 28% of “rural completions” were built in communities of less than 3000 people – the official Scottish Government definition of rural.
72% of homes built with Scottish Government funding and reported as being “rural” were built in small towns and urban areas
52 more “rural” homes were built urban areas like Inverness, Dumfries and Ayr than in actual rural communities – 351 in towns and cities compared with 299 in settlements of less than 3000 people
The number of affordable homes built with Scottish Government grant investment in rural communities fell from 715 in 2010/11 to 299 in 2016/17.
In remote rural areas the number of affordable homes built has fallen from 418 in 2010/11 to 158 in 2016/17.
Accessible rural areas in particular are losing out with only 141 affordable homes built in these communities which are home to 11% of the population.
In 2016/17 just one development of 8 homes was built in rural communities in the south of Scotland5. Almost half (46%) of the population of the Scottish Borders and Dumfries & Galloway live in communities of less than 3000 people.