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
A new strategy has been revealed to tackle issues surrounding Scotland's oil and gas sector. The Industry Leadership Group (ILG) has drawn up a plan which calls for a transformed supply chain to drive efficiency, innovation and internationalisation to ensure the industry's future. The Group, co-ch
Velocita has secured financial close for two onshore wind farms in Scotland. The renewable energy developer has achieved non-recourse financing on the Airies wind farm in Dumfries and Galloway, and the Sorbie wind farm in North Ayrshire. Over £76 million of financing has been secured to build the
A new £3.5 billion gas plant has begun production in the west of Shetland area. Operator Total said the Shetland Gas Plant will serve the Laggan and Tormore gas and condensate fields. Located around 77 miles to the north west of the Shetland Islands, the fields are estimated to produce approximate
A five pillar plan for sustainable growth in Scotland's construction sector has been revealed by the Scottish Building Federation (SBF). In its new policy manifesto ahead of the 2016 Scottish Parliament elections, the organisation sets out a series of recommendations to support the industry. Key a
Two popular tourist attractions in Orkney are to be redeveloped, the council has announced. Both the Orkney Museum and St Magnus Cathedral will receive "significant" investment from the Kirkwall Townscape Heritage initiative (KTHI). New exhibits, environments and modern technology will be develope
Financial close has been achieved on a £26.5 million schools project in Dumfries and Galloway(D&G), it has been announced. Construction on the Dalbeattie Learning Campus is to begin in March. The project will be delivered by hub South West Scotland and built by Graham Construction. Features of th
A maintenance and clearance programme is to begin on A82 between Tarbet and Inverarnan next week, it has been announced. The £140,000 project involves clearing trees, drainage and removing loose rocks from the verge of the A82 route. The works are part of a pledge by Transport Minister Derek Macka
A waste water improvement project is underway in East Dunbartonshire. The £340,000 project involves carrying out 'major' improvements to the water network in Bearsden. Works include installing a new Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) adjacent to Maryhill Road. This will reduce the number of spills fro
New research has shown 40% of Scottish non-householders do not believe they will ever be able to own their own home. The Bank of Scotland report reveals two-fifths of Scots believe they will never climb onto the property ladder. As new home building remains 40% down compared to 2007 levels, trade
A recent public exhibition has backed plans to create a new visitor centre at Inverness Castle. The Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service (SCTS), which occupies the building, has announced plans to leave the castle for a new purpose-built justice centre. In response, a public consultation was held