Councillors welcome plans for more affordable housing in Aberdeenshire

Councillors on Aberdeenshire Social Work and Housing Committee have welcomed plans for a further 95 affordable houses to be built during 2017/18 under the council’s new build programme.

Phase 6 of Aberdeenshire Council’s new build housing programme includes plans for housing in Huntly, Peterhead, Turriff, Oldmeldrum, Fraserburgh and Portlethen.

The report which was presented to the committee on Thursday 12th January revealed that 189 new affordable homes were completed between April and December 2016 in Peterhead, Fraserburgh, Banff, Inverurie, Westhill and Ballater.

In addition to that officers are continuing to work closely with partners across both the public and private sectors to maximise the delivery of affordable housing and optimize the Resource Planning Allocation from the Scottish Government. It is estimated this will provide over 600 affordable houses between March 2017 and December 2019. 

Chair of Aberdeenshire Council’s Social Work and Housing Committee Cllr Anne Allan said: “Affordable Housing remains a top priority for Aberdeenshire Council and we continue to speak to RSLs, private developers and the Scottish Government to increase the number and variety of homes across Aberdeenshire.

“We have seen the council house waiting list reduce from over 10,000 to 8,500 and want to see this reduce further. Only by working with others will we be able to deliver the housing people in Aberdeenshire need.”

Vice Chair of Social Work and Housing Cllr Raymond Christie said: “We continue to offer a range of housing options from shared equity to social rent to mid-market rent in order to fit people’s requirements and incomes. 

“Due to a reduction in market rent levels the need for key worker housing has eased slightly. This has also led to a low take up of mid-market rent properties but officers are continuing to pursue opportunities to deliver mid-market rent accommodation in Aberdeenshire, at a level and in locations where development viability can be supported.”

The report also updated councilors on plans for the Housing Infrastructure Fund as part of the Aberdeen City Region Deal announcement. The fund is available either as a loan to private developers or as a grant to local authorities or registered social landlords. Eligible works include infrastructure required to start a project such as roads, flood remediation and demolition work.

Following engagement with the private sector five expressions of interest have been submitted from developers and social housing providers in Aberdeenshire.