Island investment in much-needed homes

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A £5 million fund has been allocated to island communities as an investment into building more affordable homes.

Up to 100 affordable homes will be delivered in island communities through the new Scottish Government funding.

Argyll & Bute’s Council’s Policy Lead for Islands and Bute resident, Provost Len Scoullar said: “This is an extremely welcome announcement.

“Living on Bute myself I know firsthand what a wonderful, unique way of life island living is.

“However, I also know how important affordable housing is in retaining islanders and to those considering relocating to an island.

“This funding will enable people to make easier life choices and will help us to inspire others to see that Argyll and Bute is a wonderful place where people choose to live, learn, work and do business.”

Speaking during a Scottish Parliament debate Kevin Stewart, Housing Minister, announced the Scottish Government will establish a new Islands Housing Fund – backed by up to £5 million funding over three years – to increase the availability of affordable housing in the islands.

This investment is in addition to the £25 million Rural Housing Fund which is supporting the building of new homes and refurbishment of existing properties in rural areas.

Mr Stewart said: “Scotland’s islands have rich and vibrant cultures and make a huge contribution to Scottish life but we know people living there can face challenges when it comes to accessing the home they want.

“Our new £5 million Islands Housing Fund will increase the supply of good quality affordable housing which is an essential part of attracting and retaining people in our islands.

“Investment in this support for the islands and through the Rural Housing Fund will help us deliver at least 50,000 affordable homes over the lifetime of this Parliament and ensure we are reaching across all of Scotland in our ambitions.

However, details of how the funding will be allocated are not yet available. Provost Scoullar said: “I don’t know yet how beneficial the fund will be to Bute, we will have to wait for further information to be released.”