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.
This section highlights what grants, loans and other financial support there is available to communities to develop affordable housing projects.
Community led 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 support for Feasibility Studies to help determine the viability of your idea. For more information, click here.
For practical information and advice on developing a project, contact Rural Housing Scotland.
The Scottish Land Fund can support communities to buy land on which to develop a housing project. The Ulva Ferry community secured funding from the Scottish Land Fund to buy land on which they have built two affordable houses for rent.
The current programme runs from 2016-2020 and has an annual budget of £10 million. The SLF have a team of advisers to help you build your project.
The Fund will support projects that involve land and property ownership, that are community-led, community controlled and will deliver socio-economic impacts.
Stage One funding can support the costs of feasibility work to help you understand the viability of your ideas and the suitability of the land to be purchased and to prepare for a Stage Two application towards the costs of purchase.
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.