£18m housing investment backed by council

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Argyll and Bute Council has agreed an investment of almost £18m which will open up access to suitable affordable housing in the area.

Using the authority’s Strategic Housing Fund and council reserves, the proposals - revealed here on Sunday (click on the link to the right of this article for more details), and agreed at a full council meeting in Lochgilphead on Thursday - will improve access to affordable housing as well as maintaining high standards for new affordable developments in Argyll and Bute.

The initiatives include a Local Authority Mortgage Scheme (LAMS) which would provide an indemnity for house buyers who require 95 per cent loans and can afford monthly payments but not a large deposit, and an Empty Homes Strategy aimed at bringing ten unused properties a year back into use.

The initiatives will be funded using £8.35m from the SHF plus loan funding of up to £9.5m from council reserves.

Lead councillor for housing, George Freeman, said: “The proposals that have been agreed today will allow Argyll and Bute Council, along with our housing association partners, to continue to address the varied housing needs of many people across Argyll and Bute.

“This package of measures helps to demonstrate the high priority that we attach to housing within Argyll and Bute. They will also help local businesses and will aid the local economy across the council area.

“I look forward to seeing the number of new build affordable houses increase and the number of empty homes reduce.

“I also look forward to seeing more people being able to access mortgages who, without the council’s help, would continue to struggle to get in to the housing market.”