£44m pledge will help pay for 1,200 affordable homes in Borders

Housing minister Kevin Stewart.
Housing minister Kevin Stewart.

The Scottish Government’s announcement of almost £44m funding for affordable housing in the Borders over the next three years has been welcomed by council chiefs.

Scottish Borders Council has already unveiled plans to build nearly 1,200 such homes across the region over the next five years, and it has welcomed the confirmation that it will get £13m next year and almost £16m apiece in 2019 and 2020 as a big boost for that bid.

A council spokesperson said: “The council and partners have an ambitious target for affordable housing over the next five years.

“This funding announcement is a boost and provides us with some certainty to achieving our aim of delivering almost 1,200 homes in that time.”

Confirming the extra funding, Scottish Government housing minister Kevin Stewart said: “We are ensuring Scotland has homes that are high quality, efficient and affordable.

“We are announcing to local authorities how much money they’ll have to invest in affordable housing until the end of this Parliament.

“It means they can plan these new affordable homes now, with the certainty that the funding will increase year on year.

“This is also an important signal to the house-building sector in Scotland and demonstrates our commitment to the industry and the estimated 14,000 jobs our affordable housing supply programme supports each year.”

Scottish National Party South Scotland list MSP Paul Wheelhouse also welcomed the news, saying: “The announcement that the Borders will receive almost £44m over the next three years provides the certainty that the region and the sector needs to keep progressing and ensures we keep up the momentum to reach the Scottish Government’s target of 50,000 new affordable homes by 2021.

“Increasing the supply of affordable homes is a key SNP commitment and plays a vital role in helping to tackle poverty and inequality in the Borders, something that I and my party feel very strongly about.

“Locally, of course, Berwickshire Housing Association’s three wind turbines at Hoprigshiels will generate additional revenue that will fund 500 further homes in Berwickshire over the lifetime of the project.”