Local MSP John Lamont has lent his voice to a Scottish Conservative pledge to “incentivise” rural property owners and buyers to encourage them to provide affordable housing.
The pledge includes reductions in stamp duty, long term rent guarantees and extending grants for new housing to include community and private developers.
Scottish Government figures show only 334 new homes were started in 2013-14 in the Scottish Borders, down from a high of 1,104 in 2006-07.
Mr Lamont said: “One of the issues raised with me time and again is the difficulties people in the Borders face in trying to get access to local affordable housing. We need to do more to increase the availability of affordable housing in rural areas like the Borders. Too often, families struggle with high rents and there or are forced to move far away from work and friends in order to find somewhere to live.
“Rather than simply pouring more money into social housing, we can do more to incentivise community and private developers to invest and to provide affordable housing. This is why my party is proposing stamp duty discounts, long term rent guarantees and an extension of the grants system to get more affordable homes built and provide more choice for families in the Borders.”