NEW homes aimed at young professionals struggling to step on the housing ladder in Inverness have been confirmed by the Scottish Government.
A new financing model, the first of its kind in the UK, will deliver 42 new affordable homes in the city’s Wester Craigs area.
The two and three bedroom flats and semi-detached properties will be completed by March 2012. The infrastructure is currently being constructed, and Robertson Homes will begin building the houses in August.
The new financing scheme is aimed at families and couples who work but cannot afford a mortgage or the cost of a new home.
The National Housing Trust initiative, led by the Scottish Government and Scottish Futures Trust, will see developers and Highland Council jointly funding the purchase of newly-built homes so they can be made available for rent at below market rates.
Susan Torrance, chief executive of the Highland Housing Alliance, said the scheme is aimed at people who work, but can't afford their own place.
She said: "We wanted to take advantage of the National Housing Trust opportunity to work with Highland Council to deliver good quality rented housing for those currently struggling to get on the home ownership ladder in Inverness.
"The Wester Craigs houses, when finished, will have some of the finest views in the Highlands and we are delighted to be working with Robertson Highland to build these homes."
Councillor Margaret Davidson, chairman of Highland Council’s housing and social work committee, said there is a need for the houses.
She added: "The council is very excited to be involved in this innovative project to deliver mid-market rented housing in Inverness.
"This will fill the gap in the market and help those who cannot afford to buy in the current financial climate."
Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure and Capital Investment Alex Neil, who announced the move today, said he was pleased the scheme was getting off the ground.
He added: "I am delighted that our creative, innovative National Housing Trust funding model, the first of its kind in the UK, has borne fruit.
"It will deliver dozens of new homes in the Highlands, secured for very little taxpayers’ money, support jobs and stimulate construction in response to the recession."