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Rural and Islands Housing Funds

The £25 million Rural Housing Fund and the new £5 million Islands Housing Fund will run from 2016 to 2019.

Both funds aim to increase the supply of affordable housing of all tenures in rural Scotland and contribute to our 50,000 affordable homes target.

The Islands Housing Fund provides £5 million ringfenced for islands housing projects.

The funds have two parts:

  1. a main fund that offers capital support (grants and loans) for direct provision of new affordable housing, and refurbishment of existing empty properties

  2. a small fund that contributes to feasibility studies

Who can apply?

Both funds are open to a wide range of applicants including:

  • community organisations
  • development trusts
  • private landowners
  • private developers
  • traditional housing providers

Applications from individuals will not be accepted. Only organisations can apply.

Eligible projects must:

  • have a specific site or properties identified
  • be in an eligible rural area – levels 4, 5, and 6 of the six-fold urban/rural classification. Islands Housing Fund applications must be located on a Scottish Island
  • demonstrate evidence of housing pressure in the location identified
  • have the support of the relevant local authority
  • be prepared to undertake appropriate community engagement
  • be able to provide long term affordable housing

Applicants can apply for either the Rural Housing Fund or the Islands Housing Fund, not both.

More information, including details of the organisations and areas eligible to apply, is included in the Rural and Islands Housing Fund guidance.

Rural housing projects case studies

The first homes provided through the RHF are now complete and you can read about the homes in the Highlands and Argyll and Bute.

These case studies provide relevant examples of past rural projects. We also welcome new and innovative approaches.

How to apply

Complete the pre-application eligibility check and, if eligible, complete the expression of interest form and send it to rhf@gov.scot. Please make clear in your covering email which fund you wish to register an interest for.

We will reply within 15 working days of receiving your expression of interest. If you are told you can apply you will need to fill out an application form.

Rural and Islands Housing Fund application forms

You will be invited to apply using either the:

Once you have been invited to apply there is no deadline to submit your application. Send it to us at rhf@gov.scot and make it clear which fund you wish to apply for in your covering email.

We will assess applications on an ongoing basis. More information about the assessment process is set out in the fund guidance.

The application paperwork for both funds is reviewed regularly and is subject to change, so please check here regularly to make sure that the guidance and application paperwork you are using is up to date.

If you are considering applying for feasibility funding you should note that the funds can make up to a £10,000 contribution towards feasibility work, and that feasibility funding will be prioritised for projects that have more limited opportunity to access feasibility support.

A list of alternative sources of feasibility funding is provided for information.

Contact:

Email: rhf@gov.scot

Telephone: 0300 244 4000

Post:
Scottish Government
Housing and Social Justice Directorate
Victoria Quay
Edinburgh
EH6 6QQ