Report highlights need for better resourcing for ‘crucial’ work of rural housing facilitators

Rural Housing Scotland is named as one of a handful of key players in the provision of affordable rural housing in a new report commissioned by the Scottish Land Commission. However, the report’s authors note the impact of this “crucial” work is “constrained by time and resource”.

The ‘Role of Land in Enabling New Housing Supply in Rural Scotland’ report by Savills acknowledges that RHS has been one of the central players in facilitating new, affordable homes in rural communities, stating that the work of organisations like RHS is “incredibly sophisticated” and “hugely valued by the communities we have engaged with”.  The report goes on to recommend that “this valuable resource should continue to be supported and scaled up across the country.”

The report comes at a time when government funding for agencies supporting affordable rural housing in Scotland has been withdrawn, and the successful Rural Housing Fund draws to a close in early 2021.

“We welcome this vote of confidence in the work of Rural Housing Scotland, particularly after recent cuts in Scottish Government funding for organisations like ours,” stated Dr Annie McKee, Convenor of Rural Housing Scotland. “We hope that Scottish Ministers will read the recommendations in the report and recognise the key role RHS plays enabling community-led rural housing.”

Discussing the wider findings, Derek Logie, Chief Executive of Rural Housing Scotland, noted “The report makes a number of valuable recommendations, although there will be some debate on the nature of the rural housing land market and the impact of land ownership, which we see as continuing issues in the communities we work with. However, we welcome many of the recommendations on the development of rural housing policy and key requirements to ensure the delivery of more rural housing.”