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Housing Minister Kevin Stewart has announced £70 million in funding is available for the Open Market Shared Equity (OMSE) scheme for 2017/18.

The initiative will enable a further 1,700 people such first time buyers and priority groups to buy a property.

The announcement comes as new figures reveal a 20% rise in the number of ‘affordable’ homes which were approved last year.

A total of 8,840 homes were approved in 2016, including houses for both the social rental and home ownership market. In addition, approvals for new build social rented properties were up 17% to 5,101 properties.

Speaking at the Chartered Institute of Housing Scotland annual conference in Glasgow, Mr Stewart said: “Ensuring access to good quality and affordable housing is a key priority for the Scottish Government, therefore it is encouraging that 20% more properties were approved and started last year. As part of our efforts to increase affordable housing supply, we are determined to give targeted help to those seeking to move into home ownership. Over the past decade our OMSE scheme has helped more than 8,700 people on low to moderate incomes to buy a home. I am delighted that the 2017/18 scheme will welcome new applications from April. Alongside our commitment to deliver 50,000 more affordable homes over the next five years – with 35,000 available for social rent – this will all contribute to increasing the availability of affordable homes across Scotland.”

Source – Build Scotland

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