Thursday 29 July
Join us for a short online event to hear about the need for affordable housing on an island - Colonsay - and how a community-led approach was the solution. We are working there with Colonsay Community Development Company (CCDC) on a mixed development of housing and commercial units, crucial to the sustainability of island communities. The development was visited last week by Mairi Gougeon, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs & Islands (pictured above), who cut the first turf. Read more about the project here.
The event is free and open to all; please register below. You may also wish to join CHT as a member. Membership is free and open to any community council, community association or similar local community-based organisation. Join here.
11am: EGM (only CHT members may vote, but all are welcome to attend. The Notice and special resolution to be voted on can be viewed here.)
11.05am: Community-led housing in Colonsay: presentation by Colonsay Community Development Company
The Scottish Government has added another £2 million to the Self-Build Loan Fund, which supports self-builders unable to obtain mainstream self-build mortgage finance. The total Fund amount is now £6 million.
The news comes as £4 million has already been allocated in loans, for 28 self-builds across Scotland.
The Self-Build Loan Fund is administered on behalf of the Scottish Government by the Communities Housing Trust, an Inverness-based charity working closely with communities to provide affordable homes and community amenities.
Applications to the fund have also been extended for another year due to ongoing demand, and is open until 31 August 2022, with loans to be repaid by August 2023.
The Self-Build Loan Fund was established in 2018 to support those unable to obtain mainstream self-build mortgage finance. As banks became more cautious, it became more challenging for people to find funds to build their own home.
Housing Secretary Shona Robison said: “Self-provided housing can play an important role in supporting potentially fragile communities and smaller building firms, particularly in rural areas.
“That’s why we have allocated an additional £2 million to the Self-Build Loan Fund to support self-builders, who are unable to access mainstream lending, to complete their homes.
“We want to see more opportunities for self-provided housing, with increased capacity amongst households and industry to deliver these kinds of homes so that it becomes a mainstream option for increasing housing choice, affordability and supply.”
Ronnie MacRae, CEO of Communities Housing Trust, said: “This is really important news for small, rural or remote communities across Scotland. We saw public interest in the Fund rise by 153% over 2020, as self-build is sometimes the only option to stay in your own community, whether young or old, where housing is limited and developers won’t build. Self-build is an important model, as a housing option, because it gives communities an opportunity to provide affordable choice, attract people, and become more sustainable.
“We’d like to thank the Scottish Government and are extremely pleased to see this crucial Fund extended and increased, so we can continue to support communities, families, elderly people, crofters and couples to build their own homes across Scotland, and in particular to maintain or re-populate rural areas.”
Homes are now complete or under construction in 11 Local Authority areas: Aberdeen-shire, Argyll & Bute, Ayrshire, Falkirk, Highland, Lanarkshire, Orkney, Perth & Kinross, Shetland, Stirling and the Western Isles.
The Loan Fund is expected to provide almost 50 new homes at a value of almost £16 million to the Scottish economy. It will support approximately 350 jobs in the construction industries - often small companies in remote, rural areas - something which is of great benefit in uncertain times.
Gary and Susan, Self-Build Loan Fund recipients on Mull, said: "The Self-Build Loan Fund provided vital bridging finance. Having the loan also meant that we could pursue the build quickly, within the limited construction window available due to the weather. Importantly for us, it meant we could talk confidently to local builders and contractors, with us and them secure in the knowledge that we could pay them, and that they would be paid on time.
"As with other islands and marginal communities, building on Mull carries a cost overhead for the supply and delivery of building materials. The Self-Build Loan Fund provides vital access to finance and knowledge, making the personal dream of home ownership available to local families, adding to the longer-term resident housing stock, and underpinning sustainable island communities.”
For more information about the Self-Build Loan Fund, and to apply, please visit: https://www.chtrust.co.uk/scotland-self-build-loan-fund.
This blog features a variety of CHT’s developments and projects located throughout the central and northern Scotland. It also includes the latest news and updates regarding the Trust.