East Lothian Council is to take part in a new national initiative to increase the supply of homes available for mid-market rent.
At a meeting councillors agreed to participate in a new initiative from the Scottish Futures Trust and Scottish Government.
Under the National Housing Trust initiative (NHT), the council will part fund new-build homes from private developers that are unsold, or kick-start development on private housing sites that have been mothballed due to the economic conditions.
Around 15-30 new homes for rent will become available through the scheme. These will not be council houses, although the council may buy them if the private tenant chooses not to at the end of their initial tenancy.
The homes will be let at a mid-market rent level - 20% lower than an average private let - for between five and 10 years. At the end of that period, the properties will be sold. The council's loan will be repaid and any interest costs will be met by the developer. The Scottish Government guarantees both the repayment of the loan and the council's interest costs making the initiative zero-cost for local taxpayers.
Housing and Communities Minister Alex Neil said: "Continuing economic uncertainty puts into sharp focus the financial challenges facing the Scottish Government and cash-strapped local authorities as we strive to increase the supply of affordable homes across the country.
"The National Housing Trust model has the potential to help local authorities meet this intermediate housing need in their area by providing medium term affordable housing for mid-market rent.
"I am delighted that East Lothian Council and many others across Scotland are exploring imaginative approaches for providing much more affordable housing. I am happy to be able to offer support to the council to do this."
Cabinet member for Housing Councillor Stuart Currie told the meeting: "The National Housing Trust is a new option available to us and I'm pleased that we're able to introduce an innovate model of funding that presents no financial risk to local residents.
"The new properties will be in addition to the council and housing association build programmes, which are already delivering new homes, and our planning policies that insist developers contribute 25% of new build developments for affordable housing.
"By joining this scheme, we're offering more housing choices for people in East Lothian."
Time and date
The Scottish Government has welcomed plans for a third runway to be built at Heathrow Airport. Proposals for the £18.6 billion infrastructure development were backed by the UK Government on Tuesday, 25 October. Scottish Economy Secretary, Keith Brown, said the scheme would bring "significant benef
A new £7 million 'affordable' housing development has been opened in Paisley. The 70-home scheme was built by McTaggart Construction for Link Group at Thrushcraigs. The project was partially funded by the Scottish Government (£4.1m) and involved building 56 home for social rent, including four of
Aberdeen City Council has revealed plans to raise funding through capital markets for its £1 billion capital programme. Subject to market conditions, the council said it could become the first local authority in Scotland to generate cash via index-linked bonds. The proceeds would be used to drive
Transport Minister Humza Yousaf has called on Network Rail to devolve its rail powers to Scottish Ministers. The call comes after an independent EY review exposed weaknesses in the rail company's corporate governance of major rail infrastructure projects. Highlights included weaknesses in project
Amey has won an industry accolade for its work to reopen the Forth Road Bridge during winter last year. The project team scooped the Greatest Contribution to Scotland accolade at the 2016 Saltire Civil Engineering Awards. Following the discovery of a fracture in the truss end link, the Forth Road
Deputy First Minister John Swinney has opened a new secondary school in Edinburgh today, Wednesday, 26 October. The new James Gillespie's High School was built by Morrison Construction and delivered by Hub South East Scotland as part of the £42.8 million James Gillespie's Campus Project. A raft of
Hunter Construction has begun building a new community sports facility in Aberdeen. The contractor will deliver the multi-use Cruyff Court Denis Law complex on Catherine Street Court as part of a city centre regeneration programme. The two-and-a-half month project will see a run-down under-used co
The Scottish oil and gas sector is looking to boost its international opportunities by attending the Offshore Energy Exhibition and Conference (OEEC) in Amsterdam this week. A Scotland pavilion will be created by Scottish Development International at the event, which will target new business in the
Perth and Kinross Council is to invest £145 million in the region's school estate over the next seven years. Plans for the two-phase programme includes a number of new/replacement schools as well as a substantial upgrade programme for secondary schools. In addition, the Scottish Government is fundi
Union UCATT has slammed BAM Construction over the treatment of its officials during a visit to the V&A Museum of Design project site in Dundee. The firm is currently underway with work on the £80 million scheme and completion is scheduled for 2018. During a scheduled visit in September, UCATT said