National Housing Trust
Innovation in the delivery of public infrastructure is key to unlocking future development and boosting economic growth. Innovation can take many forms: developing new solutions to drive value for money; making more efficient use of existing public funding; leveraging additional funds and resources, and engendering partnership between the public and private sector.
The National Housing Trust initiative (NHT) is a prime example of innovation in action. NHT has been designed for Scotland's local authorities to use as part of the ‘toolbox’ to help increase the supply of homes at affordable rent in areas where there is demand.
NHT is designed to increase the supply of affordable homes in areas where they are most needed. Under NHT, developers are appointed to build a specified number of affordable homes on land they already own. Once complete, a local partnership company comprising the developer, the participating local authority and SFT buys the homes and lets them to tenants at affordable, mid-market rent for a period of between 5 and 10 years, after which the homes are sold.
SFT has signed contracts with developers to build over 1,500 affordable-rent homes across 30 sites in a variety of locations including Falkirk, Clackmannanshire, Inverness, Borders, Aberdeen, Dundee, Fife, Edinburgh and Stirling. Since the completion of the first NHT development in Stirling in January 2012, construction of many more homes have been completed and across Scotland, nearly 1,200 homes are now occupied.
Whilst meeting the needs for affordable housing for rent, the initiative has also been designed to aid the economy and keep people in jobs (particularly in the construction industry) by allowing developers and house builders to kick-start construction on stalled sites.