Local housing need is the driver of community action on affordable housing and a housing need survey will have helped identify who is in housing need in your community and what kind of need they have.
This baseline information about what kind of housing is needed – rented or owned? family or starter homes? older peoples or general needs? – and what local people consider to be affordable housing to rent or to buy is the starting point to determining what finance is required and whether a community project is viable.
The financial viability of the project is dependent on whether the cost of the development and ongoing management costs can be covered by grants; loans raised on the basis of projected rental income; land and/or house sales; or other funds raised.
Rural housing development received a boost in February 2016 when the Housing Minister announced that a new Rural Housing Fund was to open in April 2016, accepting applications from a wide range of groups from development trusts, community organisations and private landowners as well as the more traditional housing providers. The aim of the fund is to increase the supply of affordable housing to rent or to buy in rural Scotland through a grant and loan element. There is also a feasibility pot to help projects get started. For more information, click here. For practical information and advice on developing a project, contact Rural Housing Scotland.
Paul Harrington from the Helmsdale & District Development Trust gave this presentation at our annual conference in 2015 where he discussed how Trust realised the first social housing development in Helmsdale for over 30 years.