Blog: Delivering high-quality, efficient homes for all

Housing minister Kevin Stewart blogs about the Scottish Government’s ambition to deliver at least 50,000 affordable homes during this parliament.

Everyone deserves to live in a home that is high-quality, efficient and affordable, and this is why we are committed to delivering suitable homes for communities across Scotland.

Since 2007 we have delivered more than 76,500 affordable homes and are also on track to reach our target of at least 50,000 affordable homes over the course of this Parliament. Our ambitious target is backed by over £3 billion investment – the single biggest investment in, and delivery of, affordable housing since devolution.

Figures published earlier this week back up our drive towards this 50,000 target with affordable housing approvals and starts both up by 14% and completions by 16% over the year to March 2018.

During the current financial year 2018/19 we are providing more than £756 million for affordable housing, a 28% increase on last year, and we will continue to work hard with councils, housing associations and others to ensure these homes benefit communities across Scotland, delivering the right homes, in the right places.

As well as our affordable housing target we continue to invest in innovative ways to support the house building sector and help people get on the property ladder.

Earlier this year we announced that the Help to Buy (Scotland) scheme will be extended beyond 2019, helping more people purchase a new-build home without the need for a large deposit.

Since 2013, the scheme has supported more than 12,000 households into a new home and from April next year, a further £100 million will be invested over two years, helping up to 4,000 households to purchase a new home.

Figures on Help to Buy (Scotland) published this week also show that support for buyers under 30 has increased from 50% to 55% and that the number of first time buyers helped through the scheme has increased from 66% to 73%.

Another way in which we will deliver more affordable and market-value homes is through our new Building Scotland Fund. This will be used to support a further 3,000 new homes over the coming years by providing funding to help deliver a mix of affordable and market value homes.

This is a distinct and separate commitment to our 50,000 affordable homes target during this Parliament and is a further investment from this government as we continue to support all housing tenures across Scotland.

Housing is and will remain a priority for this government. Investing in homes is part of our drive towards a more inclusive economy; tackling inequalities and supporting jobs as well as providing good quality, warm and affordable housing – and helping to create a fairer Scotland for everyone.