New affordable housing plan could see more than 2,350 homes built over next five years

Plans to invest more than £150million to continue the development of affordable housing across Aberdeenshire over the next five years have been agreed.

The Strategic Housing Investment Plan, known as SHIP, outlines opportunities across the area from 2019-2024.

Having been agreed by Aberdeenshire Council’s Communities Committee, the document has now been passed to the Scottish Government, which will provide funding for the projects.

Over the course of the next five years, 2,354 homes could potentially be built across Aberdeenshire, with around 590 suitable for households with particular needs, and 73 fully accessible for wheelchair users.

The majority of homes (1,949) are proposed for social rent, with 126 for mid-market rent and 279 for low-cost shared equity purchase.

The first phase of the plan, covering 2019 and 2020, is expected to see more than £112million used to begin work on 751 homes for Aberdeenshire.

Each development will be subject to the usual planning process, and delivery of the SHIP will be influenced by the wider housing market, as a high proportion of the new homes will be part of larger schemes by housing developers.

Communities Committee chair Cllr Anne Stirling said: “The delivery of affordable housing in Aberdeenshire has been a priority for us for a number of years, and our new SHIP will allow us to continue the work to meet demand.

“We look forward to our continued work with the Scottish Government and industry partners to increase the availability of affordable accommodation as part of this ambitious plan.”

Committee vice-chair Cllr Iris Walker added: “While the main benefit of SHIP is to increase access to housing, it will also support the local construction and development industry and the sustainability of our communities over the coming years.

“By increasing availability we can make it easier for people to work, live and stay in Aberdeenshire.”