Guide

Rural Housing Fund and Islands Housing Fund
Last updated: 20 March 2019

Overview

The Rural and Islands Housing Funds (RIHF) can help you:

  • build new homes
  • change buildings into homes
  • make empty homes ready to rent or sell

The planned homes must be affordable and can be for rent or sale.

To get funding from the RIHF you must:

  • have a building site or buildings chosen in a rural area of Scotland - see below for a definition of rural
  • show that there's a need for affordable housing in the area
  • have council support for the homes
  • plan to work with the community
  • be able to provide long-term affordable housing

To get funding from the Islands Housing Fund your building site or building must also be located on a Scottish Island.

You cannot apply for this fund if you've already started building work.

Fund options

There are 2 parts to the RIHF:

  • the main fund to help get homes built, convert business buildings into homes or make existing empty homes ready to rent or sell
  • a smaller fund to help you plan the building project, called the 'feasibility fund'

What is a rural area?

To get money from this fund the homes you're planning must be in a rural area.

Rural areas in Scotland are defined as:

  • 'remote small towns' - 3,000-9,999 people and a 30 minute drive to a place with 10,000 people or more
  • 'accessible rural areas' - 3,000 or less people and within 30 minutes drive to a place with 10,000 people or more
  • 'remote rural areas' - 3,000 or less people and a drive of more than 30 minutes to a place with 10,000 people or more

There's more information in the Scottish Government Urban Rural Classification.

More information about the fund is available on the gov.scot RIHF guidance document.