Mothballed homes to be rented out

NEW housing sites mothballed by developers due to the recession are set to receive funding from council chiefs to allow them to be completed and offered for mid-market rent.

East Lothian Council has signed up to the National Housing Trust initiative (NHT), which will also see unsold new-build houses made available for lower rent rates.

Under the scheme, between 15 and 30 new homes will become available.

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The properties will not be council houses, although the council may buy them if the tenant chooses not to purchase the property at the end of their initial tenancy period.

The homes will be let at a mid-market rent level - 20 per cent lower than an average private let - for between five and ten years.

Under the scheme, the council's loan would be repaid and any interest costs met by the developer, while the Scottish Government guarantees both the loan repayment and the council's interest costs.

Councillor Stuart Currie, East Lothian's housing leader, said: "By joining this scheme, we're offering more housing choices for people in East Lothian."

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