Mr Neil said:
"I am delighted that our creative, innovative National Housing Trust funding model, the first of its kind in the UK, has borne fruit.
"It will deliver hundreds of new homes, secured for very little taxpayers’ money, support jobs and stimulate construction in response to the recession.
"Clearly the NHT has inspired confidence. Councils, developers and housing associations have risen to the challenge and embraced this approach as one that can help ease housing pressures locally."
Barry White, chief executive of the Scottish Futures Trust, said:
"In these challenging economic times, NHT opens the door to a new way to build affordable housing in Scotland.
"This demonstrates how the public and private sectors can work together in an imaginative way. Such innovation is at the heart of Scottish Futures Trust’s work."
Jonathan Fair, Chief Executive if industry body Homes for Scotland said:
"I am delighted to see the first contracts signed for delivery under the National Housing Trust model.
I am particularly pleased that these first two contracts have benefited Homes for Scotland members, as our members and Board engaged with the model and the strategic thinking that sits behind it from its inception.
"We look forward to working with SFT and the Scottish Government on future phases."
The procurement of new homes under the NHT initiative is well underway. NHT is one of a range of new measures to help create more new affordable homes for rent and owner occupation across Scotland, as set out in Homes Fit for the 21st Century the Scottish Government’s blueprint for housing in the next decade.
The first contracts have been signed with two developers for almost 100 homes across two Council areas – Scottish Borders and Highland. Further contract signings are expected over the next month that will kick-start even more construction across Scotland. Phase 1 of the initiative is expected to generate around £100 million of investment and support over 1,000 jobs in the construction sector and wider economy.
Discussion papers have been published on the lessons learned through phase 1 for local authorities and developers, and on further planned variations to the model that have been co-developed with housing associations.
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