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Aberdeenshire's affordable housing will focus principally on Formartine and Marr areas

By David Porter

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During the period April 2020 to March 2021, 161 new affordable supply homes have been completed across Aberdeenshire, a new report has revealed.

The paper which will be presented to councillors at area meetings in the coming weeks shows that 143 new homes were built for social rent of which 30 were delivered by Aberdeenshire Council and 113 by Registered Social Landlord (RSL) partners.

A further one was completed for low cost shared equity and there were 17 acquisitions for social rent.

Of these units, 43 are suitable for particular needs including 10 suitable for wheelchair users.

A further 10 households accessed affordable home ownership through the ‘resale’ of existing low cost shared equity properties.

At present work is progressing on site for a total of 312 units of which 67 are being delivered through the Council’s new build programme, the remaining 245 are being constructed through RSL partners.

This includes developments in Fraserburgh, Banff, Peterhead, Newburgh, Kintore, Insch, Ballater, Banchory, Kincardine O’Neil, Stonehaven, Newtonhill Laurencekirk, Marykirk and St Cyrus.

Of these 312 units 79 are suitable for particular needs including 23 for wheelchair users.

Proposed figures which are subject to both market conditions and build out rates show that for the next two financial years, Formartine is expected to see a further 363 units, while Garioch is tagged for 262.

Elsewhere Banff and Buchan has 106, Buchan 176, Kincardine and Mearns 114 and Marr 301.

In order to enable and support the delivery of affordable housing Aberdeenshire Council have made available a dedicated funding resource, to

supplement, where appropriate, existing funding streams.

Essentially this funding will bridge the gap between total development costs and existing funding stream limitations with potential projects subject to scrutiny and assessment to ensure Best Value.

In these instances funding will be awarded where it is considered that without ‘gap funding’ these developments would not otherwise proceed. Previously £842,000 has been spent supporting the delivery of 96 new affordable homes in Peterhead, Inverurie, Huntly and Turriff.

£1.35million has been committed to 144 units, across six developments which are currently/imminently on site, with a further £1.65million allocated in principle to several developments across Aberdeenshire which, subject to appropriate approvals and consents, will enable the further delivery of a further 206 units.

The report also shows that Aberdeenshire Council currently holds over £2 million through the Local Development Plan’s Affordable Housing Policy, commuted payments received in lieu of on-site affordable housing provision.

This includes -

Aboyne £119,796; Alford £142,414; Banchory £252,771; Banff £281,099; Ellon £30,000; Inverurie £48,653; Kemnay £64,569 and Turriff £7,500 to a current total of £2,503,138

During 2020/21, £98,398 of this funding stream has assisted in the acquisition of four purchases from the open market to be brought into use as social rent as part of the Council’s stock.

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