New schemes to offer older people access to affordable housing through shared equity have been announced by Scottish Housing Minister Kevin Stewart.

For the first time, older people will be able to access a range of Scottish Government schemes which remove the requirement for a mortgage contribution and make older people a priority access group. 

The minister made the announcement during a visit to the Abbey Place development in Paisley, a pilot project targeted at those aged 60 and over which includes 38 "independent living" homes, aimed at retirement living, through shared equity and social rent.

Research commissioned in 2015 into the housing needs of older owner occupiers highlighted the barriers facing older people in finding suitable accommodation to meet their changing needs, particularly households with a modest amount of equity and moderate income.

The schemes older people can now benefit from are: Open Market Shared Equity (for people taking an equity stake between 60 and 90%), Help to Buy (Scotland) (taking an equity stake of 85% or more in a new build home), and New Supply Shared Equity (schemes in participation with registered social landlords).

Mr Stewart commented: “As we age, our housing needs can change – we are responding to that with new and innovative solutions. These schemes will give older people the opportunity for home ownership that works for them and ensure they are part of our bold ambitions for affordable housing.”

Councillor Marie McGurk, convener of Renfrewshire Council's Communities, Housing & Planning Policy Board, added: “The Abbey Place development caters for the requirements of older people and has been a key element in the ongoing regeneration of Paisley Town Centre.”