Affordable home approvals increase by 30% to top 10,600
The number of affordable homes approved over the year to the end June 2017 has increased by 30% on the previous year, bringing the total number of approvals over the year to 10,612.
Official statistics published today also show that between 2015-16 and 2016-17, the number of new house builds started, across the public and private sector, rose by 4% from 17,765 to 18,391, the fourth consecutive annual increase and the highest annual number of starts since 2008-9.
Housing minister Kevin Stewart said today’s figures showed good progress towards delivering the Scottish Government’s ambitious target of delivering 50,000 affordable homes during the lifetime of this Parliament.
He said: “One of the most important factors in any person’s quality of life is their housing and access to good quality, warm and affordable housing is a vital part of our drive to secure economic growth, strengthen communities and tackle inequalities.
“This government is committed to delivering more affordable housing per head of the population than the UK government. We are offering significantly more grant funding for each unit of affordable housing, with each unit in Scotland supported by an average of £52,400 compared to just £25,300 in England.
“We’re also building social housing at a faster rate than any other part of the UK, with the total number of social sector homes started by the end of June 2017 increasing to 6,234, 32% more than the year to end 2016.
“Over the lifetime of this Parliament, we will invest more than £3 billion to deliver 50,000 affordable homes. This is a massive investment backing up our target which is ambitious, challenging and absolutely necessary.”
Today’s statistics also show that sales of public authority dwellings (including local authorities with total stock transfers) rose by 68% in 2016-17 to 3,510 as the scheme reaches its end.
Mr Stewart added: “The end of Right to Buy in August 2016 marked a major milestone in our efforts to build a sustainable housing policy for the future and it is absolutely vital that people can access social housing when they need it most.
“Since Right to Buy was introduced in 1980, nearly half a million council and housing association homes have been sold to their tenants.
“By ending the Right to Buy we are protecting up to 15,500 social homes from sale over the next ten years and safeguarding this stock for future generations.”
A marginal decrease in private sector completions compared to 2015-2016 are also shown, however the total number of completions between January and March 2017 increased by 5% compared to the same quarter in 2016.
Mr Stewart said: “We have a range of support measures in place to support the private sector housing industry. At the same time we will keep a close eye on the sector and stand ready to discuss solutions to help stimulate future growth and demand.”