CIH Scotland calls for additional affordable housing funding to be maintained
The Chartered Institute of Housing in Scotland has welcomed the additional funds committed towards affordable housing within the Scottish Budget for 2016-17 but urged the Holyrood to maintain further increased housing supply “as a top priority”.
The Scottish Budget, which was yesterday passed by MSPs by 64 votes to 57, includes plans to increase spending on affordable housing by £90 million.
Finance secretary John Swinney said the investment is the first step in meeting the commitment to provide 50,000 new affordable homes by 2020-21.
CIH Scotland executive director, Annie Mauger, said: “It’s clear from the priorities it has set out for next year’s budget that the Scottish Government recognises the important contribution good quality housing can make to the wellbeing of Scottish communities and to the wider Fairer Scotland agenda.
“Commissioned in conjunction with Shelter Scotland and the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations, our own research shows that we will need to deliver 12,000 affordable homes every year over the next five years in order to meet demand.
“The additional funds committed towards affordable housing in 2016-17 are an important first step towards achieving that goal. But with current budgetary pressures likely to continue for some time to come, the challenge for the next Scottish Government will be to find the necessary funds to maintain increased housing supply as a top priority in subsequent years.”
WWF Scotland said the Budget failed to deliver on the Scottish Government’s commitment to tackle fuel poverty.
Dr Sam Gardner, head of policy at WWF Scotland, added: “It’s especially disappointing that the Scottish Government has chosen not to listen to the thousands of people who turned out for Scotland’s Climate March in November or the many organisations who argued that increasing investment in insulating cold homes would have helped tackle climate change, cut fuel poverty and reduce fuel bills.
“With this Budget, the Scottish Government has chosen to pass up the real social and economic benefits that come with taking action on climate change.”