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Affordable housing in Scotland to become more accessible to the over 60s

Affordable housing in Scotland is to be made more available to people over the age of 60 under a new Scottish government scheme.

Housing Minister Kevin Stewart said that for the first time older people would be offered a range of options to support home ownership. This includes access to the ‘Help to Buy’ scheme and also the ‘Open Market shared Equity Scheme’ which are currently available to those under 60. Retirement or supported homes could also be included under shared equity schemes, the Scottish government said.

The announcement follows a pilot project at the Abbey Place development in Paisley, which was targeted at the over-60s. The project includes 38 "independent living" homes, aimed at retirement living, which are offered through shared equity and social rent.

Mr Stewart said: "People are living longer, which is to be celebrated, and I want to ensure they can access high-quality and affordable housing that meets their needs and enables them to continue living independently.

"As we age, our housing needs can change - we are responding to that with new and innovative solutions.

"These schemes will give older people the opportunity for home ownership that works for them and ensure they are part of our bold ambitions for affordable housing.

The Scottish government hopes that better access to affordable housing for the over-60s will also allow older people to move closer to family and care support - or let them buy homes that are more suitable for their needs.

Councillor Marie McGurk, convener of Renfrewshire Council's communities, housing and planning policy board, said: "We are committed to providing high-quality, affordable homes which suit the needs of older people in Renfrewshire to ensure they can remain in their own home and live independently for as long as possible.

"The Abbey Place development caters for the requirements of older people and has been a key element in the ongoing regeneration of Paisley Town Centre."

Source – BBC News, 25/10/17, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-41748867

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