A new avenue has been launched to help ease the struggles of affordable home-seekers in Moray and Aberdeenshire.
Moray and Aberdeenshire council’s have joined forces to offer an additional option to those looking for affordable accommodation in the face of “huge demand”.
The “mid-market tenure” system has been developed alongside various local housing associations and housing partnership – and will give those who might never receive an offer for social housing another feasible option.
Mid-market tenure offers mid-market rent or low-cost home ownership.
By mid-market renting in the private sector, tenants pay less than normal private rent prices.
But prices are typically still higher than council or housing partnership rental.
Households, and in particular those which are less likely to receive an offer of council or housing association accommodation, can register an interest.
At the moment, there is very little intermediate housing in Moray, and the waiting list for council houses alone tops 3,500.
However, the council claim that is expected to change.
A Moray Council spokesman said: “Due to the huge demand for rented social housing, the majority of people on waiting lists may never receive an offer.
“Mid-market tenure is another option they may wish to consider.”
The register is completely separate from an application for council or housing association properties, but it does mean that households will receive notification of any suitable vacancies as they occur.
The move comes as the Aberdeenshire authority announced that applications are now being invited for people to move into four mid-market rental homes in Westhill, which will become available in early December.
The three-bedroom houses are being delivered as part of an affordable home scheme in the town.
In total 12 mid-market rental houses will be made available between December and early January next year, with rent ranging between £530 and £770 per month.
Local councillor Anne Allan said this new option was a good way of encouraging people to come and live in the north-east.
“Certainly in Aberdeenshire, and in Moray too, it is becoming difficult to attract doctors and nurses and teachers to the region because of the cost of living,” she said.
“This helps to solve that problem.”