Housing Infrastructure Fund
As part of the More Homes Scotland approach and linked to the delivery of 50,000 affordable homes by 2021, the Scottish Government launched a five-year Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF) in February 2016. The fund operates nationally and will be managed and administered by us.
HIF will support the delivery of housing through financial assistance. While all types and tenures of housing are eligible for HIF support, priority will be given to those projects delivering affordable and private rented housing within the five-year period ending 31 March 2021.
The fund comprises two main elements:
- infrastructure loans available to non-public sector organisations
- infrastructure grant available to local authorities and Registered Social Landlords (RSLs) to support affordable housing delivery
Local authorities are invited, as part of the development of their Strategic Housing Investment Plans (SHIPs), to identify key strategic priority sites for housing that could, with the fund's support, be unlocked to bring forward completed housing by 31 March 2021. Such projects should be included in the next SHIP submissions due on 29 October 2017.
Principles applying to HIF projects
HIF helps key strategic housing projects which have been blocked or unable to proceed due to the extent and costs/financing of infrastructure works involved.
The policy objective of HIF is to enable the delivery of new additional housing, primarily affordable housing, to support the 50,000 target. Priority will therefore be given to sites that will deliver completed affordable housing by 31 March 2021 to contribute to the 50,000 target.
Housing Infrastructure Grant will be available to local authorities and RSLs for the delivery of affordable housing sites where the scale and nature of infrastructure costs would prevent it from being supported through the Affordable Housing Supply Programme (AHSP).
Although HIF is available as grant or loan we would expect that only one of these elements would be accessed in mixed ownership/tenure sites. In most cases the decision on whether grant or loan is most appropriate will be led by the organisation which is project managing the overall development.
HIF Grant Projects
Funding should only be directed to infrastructure works which are either outwith the curtilage of the affordable housing site or projects which are of scale and will open up larger sites for housing development. For clarity, works which are solely contained within the curtilage of an affordable housing site will not be eligible for HIF as these should be managed within the flexibilities of the AHSP process.
HIF loan projects
Eligible works include physical infrastructure generally required to start a project, such as roads, sewers, sustainable urban drainage system (SUDS) ponds, decontamination, flood remediation and demolition work.
Where section 75 (s75) obligation requires it, certain off-site infrastructure may also be eligible.
Non-HIF eligible works
The following works are not eligible for HIF:
- the provision of some forms of community infrastructure required as a consequence of new housing development, for example, s75 contributions for schools
- developer contributions towards affordable housing provision required through s75 or affordable housing policies
- replacing other public sector contributions (for example, Scottish Water or Transport Scotland) for major infrastructure which these bodies should be directly funding
- works or other items which local authorities or RSLs would normally fund from their own resources including, for example, general land acquisitions or acquisitions of property and land made under compulsory purchase orders (CPOs)
- major roadworks such as upgrading or realignment of trunk roads which will not directly support housing delivery within the five-year period
The above list is not exhaustive.
Any questions about the fund should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.