News Column

New Affordable Homes for Angus

June 24, 2014

EDINBURGH, Scotland, June 24 -- The Scottish government issued the following news:

A derelict 19th century listed building has been converted into new affordable homes for rent, following a Pounds225,000 investment from the Scottish Government'sEmpty Homes Loan Fund.

Glengate Hall, in Kirriemuir, Angus, has been derelict for a number of years, and is on the Buildings at Risk register.

Pounds225,000 in funding was made available through the Empty Homes Loan Fund to convert the building into nine flats, which will be available as affordable rented housing for 10 years.

In addition, Historic Scotland provided Pounds150,000 for the project through its Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme, (CARS).

The completion of the development comes as the Scottish Government considers a change to the conditions attached to the fund, which would allow owners to access funding to refurbish the property, before putting it up for sale on the open market. This would expand on the current conditions, where funding is offered to refurbish the property for affordable rent.

Welcoming the completion of the Glengate Hall development, which she will visit today, Housing Minister Margaret Burgess said:

"Glengate Hall is the most significant single building to be refurbished with the aid of the Empty Homes Loan Fund.

"Thanks to the efforts of a number of organisations, including Angus Council, Historic Scotland, and the developer Redford Homes, the supply of affordable housing has been boosted within Kirriemuir.

"The Empty Homes Loan Fund is one of a number of measures this Government is taking to tackle the problem of empty homes in Scotland's communities, and is part of our efforts to deliver at least 30,000 new homes over the lifetime of this Parliament.

"We have listened to Councils running the Empty Homes Loan Fund, and are considering changes to the conditions of the fund which will allow projects to offer empty home owners a loan-to-sell option.

"This would allow the owner will be able to sell the property on the open market post-refurbishment, with the condition that the property must be sold at an affordable level."

Graeme Brown, Director of Shelter Scotland, said:

"This is a shining example of what can be achieved by working together across different sectors, and I'm delighted to see empty homes funding and conservation money being used to create affordable housing units in this remarkable building.

"It will have a big and positive impact on the local area, and provide much needed one and two-bed affordable homes.

Mr Brown added: "The new loan-to-sell option for empty home owners is excellent news. It will mean more empty homes being brought back into use for sale as affordable housing, while more owners will be relieved of the burden of owning a troublesome empty home.

"With around 23,000 long term private empty homes in Scotland, it's crucial that we use all the tools at our disposal to bring more of them back into use as homes for people who need them."

Ian Gaul, Angus Council Leader and member of the Kirriemuir Conservation and Regeneration Scheme steering group, said he was delighted that the Glengate Hall would soon be a vibrant part of burgh life once again.

He added: "Glengate Hall is a Category C listed building that without this partnership approach involving central and local government and the private sector, would have remained an empty shell.

"Instead, thanks to the coordinated and creative approach that everyone has taken, that shell has been transformed into quality rental homes in the town centre."

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Source: Targeted News Service

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