A REVAMPED croft house scheme and new loan fund can now be accessed by Staffin residents looking to build a home or carry out major renovations.
The Scottish Government is now welcoming applications to the new Croft House Grant Scheme after the amount of grant available were increased after reaming static for a decade. That meant a significant cut in cash terms as building costs increased significantly during the same period. In Skye, crofters can apply for up to £38,000 towards the construction of a new house or £28,000 if you are trying to renovate a dilapidated or inhabitable croft house.
Previously, the scheme used to have a loan element but that was removed. However, the government has pledged to investigate whether loans could be offered once again after there was public support demonstrated in a recent national consultation.
Meanwhile, the Highlands Small Communities Trust (HSCHT) is now offering residents in the region the chance to apply for the Highland Self-loan Build Loan Fund, which has £4million in the pot. The HSCHT will run the two-year pilot on behalf of the government and seeks to address potential market failure in the lending market towards self and custom-build projects. It will also provide case studies for engagement with mainstream lenders and the fund is available to anyone who wishes to build a home in the Highland Council area.
Loans of up to £150,000 from the fund are available. The loan funding will be repaid upon completion of the project and confirmation of secured private lending by the applicant. For more information please visit the HSCHT website: http://www.hscht.co.uk/highland-self-build-loan-fund.html
The Croft House Grant Scheme website can be accessed by clicking here: https://www.ruralpayments.org/publicsite/futures/topics/all-schemes/croft-house-grant-/
Both funding sources could be vital to residents in Staffin or people from the Taobh Sear who may be living elsewhere as they cannot afford to build locally at present, or purchase on the competitive open market. The Staffin Community Trust sees the provision of housing as vital for the community’s future, particularly as the population declines. More inforamtion here: http://staffin-trust.co.uk/alarming-staffin-population-decline-makes-local-support-for-preferred-housing-site-vital