A £300million housing “partnership deal” between Aberdeen council chiefs and a housing developer will bring 1,000 low-cost homes to the city without spending a penny of public funds.
The new houses, both for rent and purchase, will be delivered in a number of phases with construction to begin this year.
The city council and developer Places for People will form a limited liability company to construct the new homes in what is being described as an unprecedented venture in Scotland.
Council-owned sites will be bought by the new company and then developed for new housing projects.
A land value will be awarded for each site by the council and half of the profits will be diverted back into their coffers.
It’s understood that the authority and Places for People will share the liability 50-50 with either side having the option of buying the other out at a later stage.
Eight sites have been initially selected for the project: Summerhill, three at Tillydrone, Craighill, East Woodcroft, Kincorth and Bucksburn.
A local authority Strategic Infrastructure Plan (SIP) commits the council to building 2,030 houses by next year with around 1,081 affordable homes built in the city in the last four years.
Last night, council leader Jenny Laing said she hoped the new homes would attract more public sector staff to the city as well as provide housing for “future generations of Aberdonians”.
She added: “I think we have seen demand for more housing in the city, and we are helping tackle that through our current council housing programme, but we also require innovative finance arrangements.
“This shortage… has become a barrier to the continued economic growth of the region.”
David Cowans, group chief executive of Places for People, said he hoped the deal could be a sign of things to come.
He explained: “In order to tackle the housing shortage in Scotland and the rest of the UK, public and private sector organisations need to explore new models and ways of working together.”
Conservative councillor Ross Thomson said his group supported the deal, but warned the authority must learn lessons from the past.
Mr Thomson added: “We cannot repeat the mistakes of the past where large areas of council houses were built in the 1960s and 1970s – we need cohesive, mixed tenure communities.”