The Scottish Government have launched a £4 million nationwide Self Build Loan Fund to support self-build projects across Scotland.
At a time where securing self-build mortgages is becoming increasingly difficult, the Scottish Government have launched the Self Build Loan Fund to help those who are interested in building their own home but are struggling to secure suitable finance. The fund will run from September 2018 until 31st August 2021. The £4 million Self Build Loan Fund comes after the success of the pilot Highland Self Build Loan.
The Highlands Small Communities Housing Trust (HSCHT) are delighted to have been appointed the agents for the new fund. HSCHT were the agents for the previous pilot fund in the Highlands, which was launched in 2016. Since then HSCHT have helped 12 self-build projects through this fund, with the first few projects coming to a finish earlier this year.
HSCHT are confident after the success of the pilot fund that the nationwide Self Build Loan Fund will be just as effective and very popular.
How does the Self Build Loan Fund Work?
The Self Build Loan Fund is available to help those who have been unable to source a mainstream or high street self-build mortgage. People will be able to borrow up to £175,000 to help them with their self-build project. The fund will provide bridging finance to cover the period of the build, with a mainstream mortgage obtained upon completion of the project in order to repay the loan amount.
How do you apply?
Applications are now open for the Self Build Loan Fund and you can apply through The Highlands Small Communities Housing Trust’s website: www.hscht.co.uk/scotland-self-build-loan-fund.html
The application process is split into two stages. The first application will establish applicants’ financial status, landownership status, planning status and post completion mortgage status.
If an applicant is successful, they will then need to complete Stage 2 of the application process. This stage will assess the applicants’ build programme, cash flow, building warrant and construction approach.
Once an applicant is successful in both stages, they can then be offered a loan to help with their self-build project.
If this sounds like something that may be of interest to you then please visit www.hscht.co.uk/scotland-self-build-loan-fund.html for more information, full terms and conditions of the Self Build Loan Fund and the Stage 1 application form. Or if you would like to speak to someone about the Self Build Loan Fund, you can do so by:
Testimonial from self-builder using the pilot Self Build Loan Fund
HSCHT’s 20th Anniversary Conference Dinner and Event
HSCHT organised a Conference Dinner and Event in conjunction with their AGM to celebrate their 20th anniversary.
Dinner, Drinks and Donnie Munro
The Conference Dinner was the first of the two events. It took place on a Thursday evening, at the Glenmoriston Townhouse Hotel in their Windsor Suite overlooking the bonnie scenes of the River Ness. The dinner was kindly sponsored by Ralph Ogg & Partners.
The evening commenced with a captivating speech by Donnie Munro, Director Development, Fundraising and the Arts at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig. Donnie discussed the importance of affordable housing, the housing difficulties in rural communities and the exciting new Kilbeg village development. HSCHT is working in partnership with Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, the Highland Council and the Scottish Government to deliver the next phase of the new village in Kilbeg. Earlier this year the first two houses were completed and the second phase plans will be submitted shortly.
Once Donnie concluded his speech, he picked the winner for the Gin Afternoon Tea prize kindly donated by the Glenmoriston Townhouse Hotel, which was won by our very own David Fraser. Dinner was then served and followed by a race night, with the proceedings of the race night going to charity.
This is the first Conference Dinner HSCHT have organised and it was great to bring our team, board, community members and businesses together in an informal and relaxed environment.
Donnie Munro and Ronnie MacRae at Conference Dinner
The Main Event
The Conference Event and AGM was held the following day at the Inverness Townhouse Hotel.
HSCHT were very lucky to have several organisations to sponsor different aspects of the Conference Event. Triodos Bank were the main sponsors and Graeme Galloway from Triodos attended the Conference Event to exhibit and take part in the Welcome session on behalf of Triodos and contributed to the Strontian Community School Building session.
HSCHT would like to thank all the organisations who sponsored our Conference Dinner and Event. The sponsor list is as follows:
The Conference Event had several guest speakers covering a range of topics:
The Conference Event provided an opportunity to update people on current housing and community news. It gave people an insight into the work undertaken by HSCHT and other community groups and provided a networking opportunity for people in an array of industries.
Second half top table from left to right: Stewart Nicol, Ronnie MacRae, John Laing, Hamish Trench, Graeme Galloway, Jamie McIntyre and Susan Hunter
The Conference Dinner and Event provided a great opportunity to look back on and celebrate the last 20 years but it was also a great chance to announce some of HSCHT’s new initiatives. This included the launch of the Self Build Loan Fund and the Dr and Mrs J. Steven Faulds Fund, two new and unique funds that HSCHT are administering. Both funds aim to encourage and aid self-build projects across Scotland.
For more information on the Self Build Loan Fund look here: www.hscht.co.uk/scotland-self-build-loan-fund.html
For more information on the Dr and Mrs J. Steven Faulds Fund look here:
HSCHT would like to thank all sponsors, guest speakers, exhibitors and anyone who attended the 20th Anniversary Conference Dinner and Event. Both events proved a great opportunity for networking, discussion and celebrations.
HSCHT would also like to acknowledge that the Conference Event ran over schedule slightly during the second half and would like to apologise for any inconvenience this may have caused to any of our attendees.
If you attended our Conference Dinner or Event, we would love to hear your feedback to help us improve for future events.
You can do so by completing our short online survey: hscht.polldaddy.com/s/hscht-s-conference-dinner-event-feedback
The Launch of the Dr and Mrs J. Steven Faulds Memorial Fund
On the 14th of September 2018, at the The Highlands Small Communities Housing Trust’s Conference Event and AGM, Drew Hendy MP announced the launch of the Dr and Mrs J. Steven Faulds Memorial Fund (pictured below).
After launching the new fund, Drew Hendry said:
“I was delighted to join the team at HSCHT to announce this new fund which offers families the opportunity of financial support to build their very own rural home. It’s such a lovely way for Dr and Mrs Faulds family and friends to honour the couple’s longstanding commitment to rural housing.
“This fund wont only secure a better future for families who may have otherwise struggled to own their own home, it will also help ensure the vibrancy of some of our most remote communities - a truly wonderful legacy for the Faulds to leave.”
Pictured: Drew Hendry MP announcing launch of the Dr and Mrs J. Steven Faulds Memorial Fund at The Highlands Small Communities Housing Trust's Conference Event and AGM
But What Exactly is the Dr and Mrs J. Steven Faulds Memorial Fund?
The family and friends of Dr J. Steven and Mrs May Faulds have created a fund in their memory to help individuals and families access affordable self-build housing plots across rural Scotland. The fund will help those who are eligible to purchase a plot of land so they can build their own home.
This comes at a time when it is becoming increasingly difficult to access high street self-build finance and people often find themselves stuck in the vicious cycle of paying expensive rent and being unable to save for their own home which creates strain on the affordable housing sector.
A supporter of the fund explained that the Faulds had strong family links to the West Coast particularly Mull and Skye and a keen interest in the rural economy specifically the need for good quality affordable housing in rural areas. They went on to say that, “The fund is a way to remember them and continue the work they started in an area they were very attached to. We chose the Highlands Small Communities Housing Trust to administer the fund due to their extensive experience and success in providing affordable housing and hope that other benefactors might follow our example when they see what it is achieving”.
A representative from HSCHT explained, “We are delighted to be working with the Faulds fund which is providing an innovative way to tackle a very real problem facing rural communities. It is often impossible for families to get support from a bank or building society to buy a building plot. This fund will provide the seed funding many families need to kick start their dream of owning their own home in their community”
How does the Fund work?
The Highlands Small Communities Housing Trust (HSCHT) is administering the fund.
HSCHT will work with communities to identify suitable land to purchase, provide the necessary infrastructure, divide it into self-build plots, and then sell them to an individual or family for self-build purposes. If successful, the applicant will be able to purchase a discounted plot of land with full title on a shared-equity basis with a Rural Housing Burden and right of pre-emption attached.
(Visit http://www.hscht.co.uk/rural-housing-burden1.html to read more about the Rural Housing Burden).
Projects will be undertaken to an agreed programme at the end of which loans will be repaid to the fund. This will allow HSCHT to use the fund again and again to help new communities.
Before fully applying, applicants must discuss the desire to build a home with an independent mortgage advisor. This is to ensure that they can secure a mortgage provider for a completed project that was self-built.
Who is Eligible to Apply?
If you wish to build a home but have not been able compete to purchase a house plot on the open market, this fund may be able to assist you. To be eligible, applicants must be able to demonstrate:
Applicants to the fund will be prioritised in the following order:
A register of interest will be held by HSCHT, who will be in touch with applicants if a house plot becomes available for them in their preferred location.
How to Apply to the Fund
To apply for the Dr & Mrs J. Steven Faulds Memorial Fund contact The Highlands Small Communities Housing Trust.
T: 01463 233 548.
Pictured: an example of a previous self-build development managed by HSCHT
The Highlands Small Communities Housing Trust
The Highlands Small Communities Housing Trust (HSCHT) is a not for profit charity specialised in working with rural communities to secure long-term solutions to local housing needs. HSCHT often help communities work with local housing partners such as Local Authorities and Housing Associations to increase the range of alternative housing options available while focusing on the specific requirements of each community. The range of housing options available are vast and will be discussed in more detail shortly.
The Local Consultation
The local community feel there is a clear need for alternative housing options in the area. In order to establish demand HSCHT were invited by the Tarbert & Skipness Community Trust to hold a local consultation in the Templar Arts and Leisure Centre (TALC) in Tarbert. The event ran over two days and aimed to establish an understanding of the main housing needs in the area. The attendees discussed a range of housing options, many of which fill the gap between social housing and market value property for example, self-build plots and finance or rent to buy.
The first session was on the 23rd August and ran from 2pm to 7.30pm to allow those who had work commitments to attend in the evening. We had a steady inflow of individuals and couples visit us that expressed their interest in alternative accommodation. The majority of the enquiries focused on housing that would meet individuals current and future needs, affordable to either rent or buy, and located in the centre of Tarbert or Skipness. In addition, local landowners attended the event to express their support for additional housing in the area.
The local consultation continued on the 24th of August from 9am to 1pm to ensure we offered everyone the opportunity that wanted to attend. Along with their own housing concerns, attendees often raised the issue of young families in housing need but very few families actually attended the events.
Housing for Families
On more than one occasion we were informed that there were several young families living in inadequate accommodation due to high market prices and a limited supply of housing, although very few attended the events. In an attempt to reach out to the younger generation and those with busy lifestyles, we launched an online housing survey on Facebook via local Tarbert and Argyll pages. We hope that this online strategy will reach a wider audience including those that wish to move back to the Tarbert and Skipness area.
It is important to encourage those who are currently living in unsuitable housing to have their voice heard as this will be the building blocks to providing evidence of a need for housing in the area. The Tarbert and Skipness community currently have a great opportunity to take advantage of existing Scottish Government mechanisms to deliver a housing project quickly. For this to happen though we need those who have a housing need to talk to us and express their requirements otherwise they will miss out on this opportunity.
Home Argyll – Register your interest!
We asked every individual that passed through the TALC doors whether they had registered their interest with Home Argyll. The responses received varied from ‘yes’ to ‘what is that?’. Home Argyll is a partnership organisation made up of the following five partners: Argyll and Bute Council, Argyll Community Housing Association, West Highland Housing Association, Dunbritton Housing Association and Fyne Homes. These partners determine where to provide additional social housing based on the housing waiting list therefore if an individual has a need for social rented housing in a specific area it should be highlighted through Home Argyll. It is easy to register your interest online but to make it even easier, here is the link: https://www.homeargyll.co.uk/
How do HSCHT assist communities and individuals?
HSCHT understand that some individuals and families may want a home to call their own or a specific housing tenure but cannot compete with open market prices. It is therefore our objective to identify communities where an increased supply of affordable housing would further enhance their economic and social benefits. As HSCHT is a not for profit charity our aim is to provide community benefit to support the longevity of each community we work with. This is achieved by complementing existing housing provision and working closely with housing partners. With 20’ years’ experience, we have a range of unique housing solutions on offer:
· Rent to Buy
· Shared Equity
· Live-Work Units
· Self-Build Loan Fund
· Faulds Memorial Fund
· Discounted Serviced Self-Build Plots
· Deferred Plot Payment
· Empty Homes
· Other housing options
You can find out more about HSCHT on our website: http://www.hscht.co.uk/
Housing for Businesses and Service Providers
HSCHT acknowledge that businesses often struggle to recruit and retain staff due to a shortage of available housing in rural settlements which subsequently causes a negative economic impact on their business and surrounding area. Furthermore, a lack of suitable housing in Tarbert and Skipness can inhibit any new business start-ups. The online survey provides the opportunity for staff from local businesses or owners or those wishing to start a new business in Tarbert or Skipness to raise any issues they may have as a direct consequence of housing and to tell us how we can help.
Population projections for Argyll and Bute indicate an increasing need for service provision from the NHS and emergency services. HSCHT encourage those specialising in service provision to ask their staff to complete the online housing needs survey as their presence in rural communities is essential. It is imperative to ensure an appropriate range of housing options is available to meet key service provider’s needs into the future.
The housing event in Tarbert attracted 25 individuals over the course of two days. The information gathered over the two-day event is invaluable, but we need more people to come forward. If there are families, individuals or couples living in Tarbert, near Tarbert or wish to move to Tarbert or Skipness that cannot find suitable housing, we urge you to complete our online survey that can be found on Facebook or www.hscht.co.uk/surveys to register your interest in acquiring housing that meets your needs. Unfortunately, if there is insufficient demand for alternative housing options in Tarbert and Skipness there will be no strong evidence to support future housing development.
Tarbert and Skipness are located in a beautiful area in Argyll & Bute. Our aim is to improve the social and economic welfare of both settlements by increasing the availability of affordable housing options but it all starts with you. Please, register your interest either through Home Argyll, our online housing survey, or by talking to a member of the Tarbert and Skipness Community Trust. There is always a solution!
Online survey link: www.hscht.co.uk/surveys
This blog will feature a wide variety of HSCHT’s developments and types of projects located throughout the Scottish Highlands. It will also include the latest news and updates regarding the trust.