Shetland misses out on government cash for new homes

Shetland has lost out on a share of £24 million designed to provide over 900 new rented homes across the country – the second time in six months it has been denied cash to help curb its housing shortage.

The islands have been left off a list of 20 local authorities earmarked for the second round of Scottish government funding announced by housing and communities minister Alex Neil.
The first round in June also saw Shetland fail to meet the required criteria for funding.

In the meantime, Orkney has been awarded £1.7 million in total to help it develop 68 new affordable homes.

The news will come as a blow to the SIC, which is faced with a dramatic housing shortage. In August councillors agreed to sanction £20 million of spending on new housing projects over the next five years to cut the 1,000-strong waiting list.

Head of SIC housing Chris Medley was unavailable for comment when contacted by The Shetland Times.

However speaking last year he said the council would have to “jump through hoops” to secure a slice of the funding, thanks to three pages of strict criteria which had been laid down by the government.

Altogether the two rounds of funding are expected to provide nearly 2,300 new houses across 22 Scottish councils, thus reversing the rapid decline in council housing provision since the right to buy was introduced during the 1980s.

In 2006/07, only six council homes were built across the whole of Scotland – the first to go up since 2003. That contrasts somewhat with 1980, when there were more than 5,000 completions.


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