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Updates on Rural Housing Fund

Scotland's Rural Housing Fund

We recognise the unique issues associated with provision of housing in rural Scotland. To help address these, the Scottish Government has launched a £25m Rural Housing Fund which will be available from April 2016 for three years. The fund aims to increase the supply of affordable housing of all tenures in rural Scotland and will contribute to the 50,000 affordable homes target.

The Rural Housing Fund is available to a wide range of applicants, including community organisations, development trusts, private landowners and private developers, as well as more traditional housing providers, enabling them to take a more active role in meeting the housing needs of their communities.

The fund has two components. The main one offers capital support (grant and loan) to enable the direct provision of new affordable housing and refurbishment of existing empty properties. A second, smaller component provides a contribution to feasibility studies.

Annual budgets have been allocated as follows:
Financial Year Grant Loan Total













The Rural Housing Fund is now open for applications. Further information, including details of which organisations and areas are eligible to apply, is included in the Rural Housing Fund guidance. Please note that only legally constituted bodies are able to apply. Applications from individuals will not be accepted.

Eligible projects must:
  • Have a specific site or properties identified

  • Be in an eligible rural area – levels 4, 5, and 6 of the 6 fold urban/rural classification.

  • 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

Those interested in applying should first complete the pre-application questionnaire which will help you decide if the Rural Housing Fund is right  for your project.

If you wish to apply to the Rural Housing Fund (for feasibility funding, project funding or both) please first submit an expression of interest and return it to the Scottish Government at rhf@gov.scot

We will provide feedback on whether an application to the Rural  Housing Fund is invited within 15 working days of receiving an expression of interest.

Rural Housing Fund application forms are available below:

Once you have received an invitation to submit an application to the Rural Housing Fund, you can submit it  at any time – there is no deadline.  Please submit applications to rhf@gov.scot

Applications will assessed on an on-going basis.  Further information about the assessment process is set out in the fund guidance.

Those considering applying for feasibility funding should note that the Rural Housing Fund can make up to a £10,000 contribution towards feasibility work.  Feasibility funding will be prioritised to projects which have more limited opportunity to access feasibility support.  A list of alternative sources of feasibility funding is provided for information.

Case studies of housing projects are included here to give an illustration of relevant rural projects which may be of interest to potential applicants. New and innovative approaches are also welcome.

Please note that the Rural Housing Fund application paperwork will be reviewed regularly and is subject to change. We advise that prospective applicants check this website regularly (noting the last content review on this page) to ensure that the guidance and application paperwork they are using is up-to-date.