31 Oct 2022

CIH Scotland calls for more support to deliver homes in remote and rural areas

Responding to the Scottish Government’s consultation on Land Reform in a Net Zero Nation, CIH Scotland has welcomed new measures which increase transparency over land ownership and use, but has raised concerns over how easy it will be for some to take advantage of these new rights.

The proposed Bill has the potential to enable community groups and social landlords to take advantage of rural land coming to the market, with measures including prior notification of the intention to sell and strengthened rights around community engagement. However, some community groups may struggle to benefit from the new legislation without specialist skills and knowledge, and access to the funding required to develop new housing.

Susanne Flynn, policy and practice officer at CIH Scotland said:

“We support any measures that could help to supply much needed new homes in our remote and rural communities. Indeed, the Scottish Government’s vision for Housing to 2040 commits to ensure that those living in rural and island areas have access to “high quality, affordable and market housing” and to deliver a target of 110,000 affordable homes by 2032, with 70 percent of these for social rent and 10 percent for rural and island communities.

“More affordable homes, in both the social and private sector, are needed to support rural repopulation and help create sustainable communities but the high cost of land can be a barrier for social landlords and community groups who are looking to develop affordable housing in rural areas. There is therefore a pressing need to encourage a more innovative and diverse range of organisations to deliver the different types of affordable rural homes that are needed, alongside appropriate funding, support and resources.”

Read the consultation response here