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SCOTTISH COUNCILS MAY GET MORE POWER OVER HOUSING

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Scottish local government minister Calum MacDonald will announce that most of the powers of Scottish Homes are to b...
Scottish local government minister Calum MacDonald will announce that most of the powers of Scottish Homes are to be transfered to local authorities, according to Scotland on Sunday (p7).

The deal, due to be announced on Wednesday, amounts to the virtual abolition of Scottish Homes in its present form, and will see powers transfered to forward-looking councils who agree to transfer their own housing stock to community-based housing associations and companies.

The councils which agree to the conditions will be given the power to decide how their share of£194m in housing development grants, currently controlled by Scottish Homes, should best be spent.

'Councils have been excluded from social house building for those as the lower end of the income scale for years now and we are offering them a genuine opportunity to become involved in that again,' said a government official.

'This will allow councils to get away from mending leaky taps and fixing windows to take on a really important strategic role across all housing in their areas.'
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