Whitebeam Homes: affordable homes – where they’re needed
Whitebeam Homes buys houses on the open market, and makes them available to people in need at lower-than-market rents.
Affordable housing is in short supply in most parts of Scotland. Behind this fact lie human stories of frustration. Communities are broken up:
- young people find it hard to return to their home patch after study or work
- growing families are forced to move away
- older people can’t find the right home as their needs and circumstances change.
Some want to buy, but can’t compete within the local housing market; others may want social housing, but waiting lists are too long.
With the property market still slack in many parts of Scotland, housing stock is available at comparatively low prices. But local people on low or insecure wages cannot secure a mortgage to buy. As prices increase, this is likely only to get worse.
At Whitebeam Homes, we address these problems by purchasing houses on the open market and make them available to local people in need. We can also manage properties for rent on behalf of owners who do not want to sell. Our initiative is a Scotland-wide one, currently being piloted on the Isle of Arran.
But we need capital to make the project sustainable. Funds may be directed to the project either as gifts or loans. Gifts attract tax relief under th Gift Aid scheme for individuals or companies as appropriate. Loans will attract low or limited interest – this is a charitable venture, not an investment scheme.
Whitebeam Homes is a wholly-owned subsidiary
of Scottish Churches Housing Action.
Buy to let others rent - The Herald, 22.1.13