Number of rental properties to be increased through £43 million fund

The Scottish Government has announced it will provide £30 million of funding to help boost the number of properties being built for private rent.

Investment will be provided to Edinburgh property group Sigma through the Building Scotland Fund, which was set up last year to provide loans at commercial rates as a precursor to the Scottish National Investment Bank.

The £30 million will contribute towards a £43 million Scottish Private Rental Sector Fund set up by Sigma to increase the number of rental properties in Scotland.

It is estimated the funding will enable an additional 1,800 properties to be built for private rent across the country.

Communities Secretary Aileen Campbell said: “Renting accommodation is becoming a long-term option for many people, at many stages of life, for example when starting a family or when retiring.

“We want everyone who rents to be able to live in a house that suits their needs and in an area where they want to live, including near family, friends or schools.

“We want people to have the security to make that house their home – whether they are looking for a house for three years or 30 years.”

She added: “The Private Residential Tenancy already offers greater security for tenants, balanced with appropriate safeguards for landlords and investors.

“These additional new properties to the sector can give people long-term security and the confidence they are renting from an experienced, professional management company.

“The additional long-term stability these properties provide will make a huge difference for many households, especially those wanting to create a family home and settle into a community.”

Graham Barnet, Sigma chief executive, said: “We are delighted to have the support of the Scottish Government’s Building Scotland Fund.

“Our approach to housing delivery has been working extremely well in England and is helping to deliver thousands of new houses for the private rental market.

“We see significant demand for our high-quality, professionally managed homes in Scotland and look forward to using this new fund to assist in addressing Scotland’s housing needs.

“We are also continuing to explore other opportunities to extend our business model.”

The planned investment follows First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s comments at the SNP conference in Edinburgh that a £150 million scheme would be established to provide loans to help first-time buyers with deposits.

The scheme would offer first-time buyers loans of up to £25,000 to fund or top up their deposit.

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