The house-building industry in Scotland is set to receive a further boost with the announcement that the Scottish Futures Trust (SFT), Scottish Government and participating local authorities have published the official procurement notice for Phase 2 of the National Housing Trust (NHT) initiative.
Under the terms of the notice, 15 Scottish councils are seeking up to 1,000 affordable homes for rent to be built over the next three years, which in turn is expected to deliver £100 million of investment to the industry and help protect over 1,000 construction jobs.
House builders wishing to tender for the construction work have until 9 January 2012 to submit their Pre Qualification Questionnaire after which time the SFT and local authorities will shortlist bidders to go through to the next stage of procurement.
Through the initiative, NHT’s goal is to make more homes available at affordable rents in areas where demand is currently outstripping supply. In addition, it enables councils and developers to work together to kick-start construction on sites that might otherwise have taken longer to get underway, thereby helping to safeguard jobs in the house building industry.
Under the NHT programme, homes must be available for rent over a five to ten year period, following which, tenants will have the opportunity to purchase their home at market value before the homes are sold on the open market. Phase 2 of the NHT initiative was launched by the Scottish Government in response to the demand of local authorities and developers following Phase 1, which has contracts signed for 600 homes to be built across 11 sites in Scotland, with the first homes already under construction and are expected to be completed next year.
From small rural sites through to large city-centre developments, house builders and housing associations across Scotland are already benefitting from the first tranche of construction under the NHT programme.
Barry White, chief executive of the Scottish Futures Trust, stated: “The NHT programme has created a new and successful way to deliver affordable housing and key to its continued success is to build upon the unique partnerships that are being created between SFT, councils and house builders. As a result, this has given all stakeholders the confidence that the market will be receptive to the launch of NHT Phase 2 and SFT is delighted to be involved in this much-needed boost for the housing sector.”