A loan of £150,000 could see nearly 30 empty homes in the Borders brought back into use and let at mid market rent levels.
Scottish Borders Council is to borrow the money from the Scottish Government - paying back £90,000 by 2020 and £60,000 by 2024.
The council in turn will lend a maximum of £10,000, interest free, to house owners so that the homes can be brought back up to a standard that means they can be let - hopefully adding 29 houses to the affordable housing market.
In his report to SBC’s executive, housing strategy manager Gerry Begg said: “It is anticipated that the homes brought back into use will most likely be one and two bedroom sizes as indicated in housing need and demand information.”
The pressure on smaller homes has increased since the so called ‘bedroom tax’ was introduced in April this year, reducing payments to housing benefit claimants who have more bedrooms than they are deemed to need.
The council aims to deliver an extra 103 affordable houses to the region by 2017 and this loan scheme is part of this strategy.
SBC’s executive agreed this week to accept the loan on offer from the Scottish Government.