McAlpine praises local housing organisation in parliamentary debate

South Scotland SNP MSP Joan McAlpine has praised the work of the Dumfries and Galloway Small Communities Housing Trust during a housing debate in the Scottish Parliament.

Ms McAlpine highlighted the trust’s role in delivering the Scottish Government’s Rural Housing Fund across the region.  The government launched the £25 million fund in April this year to increase the supply of affordable housing of all tenures in rural Scotland. Funding is available to provide capital support for new housing and refurbishment projects as well as a smaller contribution towards feasibility studies where relevant.  Community-led projects are among those eligible to apply.

In her speech, Ms McAlpine commented:

“Clearly community-led development has its own challenges but thanks to the engagement efforts of the Dumfries and Galloway Small Communities Housing Trust, housing projects are beginning to emerge which have the potential to both increase the capacity of local development trusts and secure the longer-term sustainability of small communities. ”

The MSP has previously visited the trust at their headquarters in Thornhill and receives regular updates on their work across the region.

The trust works to increase provision of a broad range of affordable housing across all tenures in rural areas.  They have developed an extremely productive working relationship with both the Scottish Government and local strategic partners in the housing and communities sectors.

During her speech, Ms McAlpine described the trust as “an exemplar of “partnership working” which understands local challenges but isn’t constrained by them”.

Mike Staples, Chief Executive of the Dumfries and Galloway Small Communities Housing Trust, highlighted the importance of the Rural Housing Fund and praised the diversity of projects being taken forward with the support of the fund.

He said this “illustrates the flexibility of the Rural Housing Fund”, adding that “this is important in terms of addressing very localised rural housing needs and demands, particularly when intervention is being driven or delivered by communities themselves”.

The trust are keen to hear from any prospective new applicants to the fund.  Interested parties are encouraged to contact the trust directly on 01848 332 516 or via their website http://www.dgscht.co.uk/

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