A support and funding package of over £960,000 over three years has been announced by the Scottish Government to increase the number of affordable homes and community facilities in the Highlands & Islands.
The funding package will provide sustainable support to rural housing enablers.
These are the non-profit organisations who help communities, usually in rural Scotland, to create homes local people can afford.
Commenting, Ariane Burgess, Scottish Green MSP for the Highlands & Islands Region said:
“It’s really difficult to get new, affordable homes built in rural Scotland – land is expensive, there are restrictions on development and it costs more to get materials and tradespeople on site – but we know a lack of affordable homes makes it hard for young people to stay in or move to rural Scotland.
“Communities are coming up with their own solutions – building affordable, high-quality housing on a small scale.
“They get amazing support from organisations like the Communities Housing Trust and South of Scotland Community Housing but those rural housing enablers need reliable, ongoing funding.
“Scotland can do so much more to help this sector grow and thrive.
“The Communities Housing Trust alone has 600 new homes in its pipeline across 150 communities.
“I’ve seen for myself the huge difference just a few homes can make to small communities; supporting local businesses, bolstering the Gàidhealtachd and keeping small schools open.
“Community-led housing is essential to helping the communities I represent in the Highlands & Islands thrive.
“Good, well-designed housing in the right place can drive rural repopulation, create jobs and sustain local business and communities.
“Community-Led Housing has the potential to transform how rural Scotland develops – keeping wealth in the local economy and creating homes for the people we need to work in growing sectors like nature restoration, sustainable forestry and climate adaptation.”