The Scottish Government is ready to use taxpayer’s money to fund institutional investors in a bid to boost the supply of rental housing.
The Government is funding the development of some 1,800 private rental properties across Scotland though its financial support for corporate investment fund – Sigma.
The Sigma Capital Group claims to be a leading UK provider of family Private Rented Sector (PRS) housing and the proposed injection of £30m of taxpayers’ money will be added to Sigma’s development fund of £43m earmarked for the PRS.
Pending the establishment of Scotland’s first nationalised bank, “The Scottish National Investment Bank“, the money will be provided through the Building Scotland Fund, a fund set-up last year to provide development loans to boost housing supply at commercial rates.
Communities Secretary Aileen Campbell has said:
“We want people to have the security to make that house their home.
“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.”
“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.”
“That is your SNP government – building a fairer Scotland for the next generation,” she had said.
Graham Barnet, Sigma chief executive, has 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.”
In addition to the rental fund, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s commented at the SNP conference in Edinburgh this week that a £150 million scheme would be set-up to provide loans to help first-time buyers with deposits up to £25,000 to fund or top up their deposits.