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Interest free loans available to Scottish housing associations

The Scottish Government have reported the recent success of their ‘Fire and Carbon Monoxide Detector Loan Scheme’ which allows social landlords, such as housing associations, to apply for interest free loans in order to upgrade their properties to new Scottish housing standards.

The recent change to housing standards declares that every home in Scotland must have smoke alarms fitted in each living room/lounge and each hallway/landing, while kitchens must possess a heat alarm and any space with a boiler must possess a carbon monoxide detector.

The Scottish Housing Minister, Kevin Stewart stated: “We want to improve fire safety in homes across Scotland and we are clear that one death from residential fires is one too many.

“It is important social landlords take action to meet our improved safety standards. Our loan scheme means they can start this important work right now and spread the cost.

“Everyone deserves the same high level of protection whether they own or rent from a private or social landlord.”

The new housing standard was launched in June, coming into full force in February 2021, and is predicted to make approximately 19,000 Scottish homes safer with 23 applications for the new loan having been made by social landlords.

Applications will be allocated amounts of the £13M loan fund, with the first application having been made by the Orkney Housing Association, who have now set about upgrading their 545 homes.

The Director of Finance and Asset Management at Orkney Housing Association, Anne Fletcher added: “We are delighted to be the first Registered Social Landlord to receive this loan funding to upgrade our existing smoke alarm systems to meet the new standards in 545 homes to ensure the safety of our tenants in our properties.

“Work has now begun and we aim to have all our properties fully compliant with the new Fire Safety Regulation by December 2020.  By obtaining access to these funds it enables this vital work to be done whilst maintaining affordable rents.”

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