Funding boost for low-cost homes in Scotland

Image caption The aim is to stimulate the building industry and tackle homelessness

The Scottish government has released a total of £45m to accelerate the construction of at least 800 new low-cost homes across Scotland.

The package is made up of £31m in consequentials - cash passed to the Scottish government as a result of the previous UK government's March Budget.

And £14m has been freed up from the existing housing investment programme.

Last week First Minister Alex Salmond announced a £120m project to build 1,000 affordable homes across Scotland.

The latest release of funds will be used to stimulate the country's house-building industry and tackle homelessness.

Increased supply

A large share has gone to 10 local authority areas identified as facing the greatest homelessness challenges, including the Western Isles, Orkney and Moray.

Glasgow is the biggest recipient with £9m, while Highland is to receive more than £5m. Edinburgh will get £3.5m, with Moray and Aberdeen each receiving about £1.9m.

Other areas allocated with funds include Perth and Kinross (£1.13m), Falkirk (£1m) and the Scottish Borders (£684,000).

The Scottish government said the additional funding would bring the Affordable Housing Investment Programme (AHIP) for 2010-11 to £502m, delivering more than 7,100 homes for rent or low-cost ownership.

Jonathan Fair, chief executive of Homes for Scotland, said he was pleased to see the additional funding was being invested in the current year.

Housing Minister Alex Neil is to travel across Scotland over the next month to hear suggestions from homeowners, tenants, elected officials and housing association staff on ways to support increased housing supply.

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