Self-build fund for Highlands projects increased

The Scottish Government’s Highland Self-Build Loan Fund, launched in April this year, has already proved “incredibly popular” according to the Highlands Small Communities Housing Trust (HSCHT) which admisters the £4m fund. It recently enlarged the fund to give even more self-builders the ability to benefit.

Applicants can now access up to £175,000 per build, an increase of £25,000 from the previous upper limit of £150,000. The increase is expected to allow more projects to progress further,and has come about in response to applicants’ feedback.

The fund is designed to assist those who are struggling to access self-build finance. On completion of a build, they can access a traditional mortgage – which can then be used to repay the loan.

The fund will run for the next two years and is expected to enable a large number of self and custom-build projects to go ahead across the region.

The Highland Self Build Loan Fund is a Scottish Government pilot scheme that aims to rejuvenate what was once the main housing delivery model in the Highlands and generate growth in the self-build sector again. The fund will also substantially increase economic activity in the area and provide financial assistance to people who have in recent years been unable to progress with their self-build projects.

Kevin Stewart MSP, Minister for Local Government & Housing said:

“This £4m Self-Build Loan Fund is an important opportunity to address the lending difficulties experienced by households looking to build their own homes, and explore how we can increase housing supply while allowing customers to input into the design.

“We have taken on board feedback that the £150,000 cap is too restrictive, which is why we are now increasing this cap and making loans of up to £175,000 available for people to build homes that can better suit their needs. We will continue to monitor and review the pilot over its two year lifespan.

“This loan fund is part of our More Homes Scotland approach. The Government is determined to accelerate housing supply across all tenures in order to support families across Scotland get on the housing ladder.”

Impact

The Highland Self Build Loan Fund has already provided loans which have made an impact, allowing development to take place across the Highlands, including in smaller rural communities where new build housing is scarce.

Individuals and families may have found themselves spending years trying to obtain suitable finance to help them build their own homes, many of whom may have spent a considerable amount of time in unsuitable living conditions. This new fund will help these people finally realise their dream, and allow them to move into more comfortable surroundings once they have completed their build.

CEO of HSCHT Ronnie MacRae said:

“We are delighted to see in the upper limit increased for applications to £175,000. The Scottish Government’s Highland Self Build Loan Fund now has the potential to assist many more Highland households to build their own homes and provide the added social and economic benefits at the same time. We welcome this flexible and responsive approach and the many other new initiatives being provided by the Scottish Government. It is an exciting time for housing options in Scotland.”

If you are interested in hearing more about the Highland Self Build Loan please contact The Highlands Small Communities Housing Trust on 01463 233 548, or atselfbuild(Replace this parenthesis with the @ sign)hscht.co.uk. A brochure and application pack can also be downloaded from www.hscht.co.uk