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
South Ayrshire Council has approved plans for a major mixed-use regeneration project in Ayr. The 'masterplan' from Ayr Renaissance, which includes transforming a neglected part of the town centre into a new major public realm, was prepared by architects Niall McLaughlin and Charles Jencks. Feature
Fion Construction is continuing work to improve facilities at the Glen Nevis Visitor Centre near Fort William. A new 31-tonne all-abilities bridge has been successfully installed over the River Nevis adjacent to the Centre. The structure, which has span of 42 metres, was fabricated by A.J. Engine
East Lothian Council has revealed plans to invest £144 million towards building and maintaining homes across the region. Over the next five years, £85m will be provided to develop new local authority housing, while £59m is being allocated to modernise and extend existing homes. A total of 35 new h
The Scottish Government is to award £6.5 million towards the Clyde Gateway regeneration project in Glasgow. The funding, subject to parliamentary approval, was confirmed by Housing Minister Kevin Stewart during a visit to the site today, 21 February. A total of £5.5m will come directly from the Go
Glasgow City Council is to fund half of the Burrell Collection's estimated refurbishment costs. Councillors approved funding of up to £27.3 million at an Executive Committee meeting last week. This new commitment, on top of a pledge of £5.3m, takes the local authorities project funding up to £33m
Contractor Pat Munro Ltd has completed a road improvement project in the Highlands. The company carried out road strengthening works along Swordale Road in Evanton. Designed by Arvikaconsult Ltd, the scheme included resurfacing, extending passing places and ditching/drainage works. The Strategic
The Scottish Federation of Housing Association (SFHA) has strengthened its executive team by appointing Sarah Boyack as Head of Public Affairs. Ms Boyack, who will be responsible for the organisation's policy, research and media work, will take up her new role from the end of this month. SFHA said
Waverley Tweed Ltd has completed work on a new 'affordable' housing project in the Scottish Borders. The developer has built three one-bedroom flats on a gap site in Innerleithen High Street, as well as six two-bedroom properties on an adjacent site at 10/14 Waverley Road. An agreement was reached
Energy Action Scotland has awarded £100,000 towards developing energy efficiency measures for cancer patients in Shetland. The grant funding includes improving insulation in the homes of cancer patients and fitting energy-efficient heating systems where needed. Other features involve replacing boi
Work to build 15 new council homes in Fife is now complete. The new 'affordable' housing was built on the site of a former communal car park in Methil. The Durie Street homes are part of Fife Council's Affordable Housing Programme, which aims to deliver 2,700 new 'affordable' homes by May. The pr