Housing bodies concerned infrastructure investment plan will not address demand for homes
The Scottish Government’s £24 billion infrastructure investment plan could fall short of providing the affordable housing need facing Scotland over the next five years, a collection of housing organisations have warned.
Covering the five years from 2021-22 to 2025-26, the Draft Infrastructure Investment Plan (IIP) includes investment to decarbonise business, industry and buildings, the provision of new health facilities and schools and support for manufacturing innovation.
On housing, there is a place to invest over £2.8bn in direct capital grant funding, over five years, to deliver more affordable and social homes, continuing to ensure the right types of homes in the right places reflecting and supporting Local Housing Strategies and regional development priorities.
Issuing a joint response to the draft IIP, the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations, CIH Scotland, Shelter Scotland, Glasgow and West of Scotland Forum of Housing Associations and the Association of Local Authority Chief Housing Officers said: “Last week the Scottish Government unveiled its new £24bn Draft Infrastructure Investment Plan, with ministers allocating £2.8bn towards social and affordable housing over the next parliamentary term. This is a cash terms cut of 20% from the £3.5bn allocated this parliamentary term to build 50,000 affordable homes. The current programme had made real and substantive progress on tackling housing need, providing homes for many thousands of Scotland’s people.
“In June, CIH Scotland, Scottish Federation of Housing Associations and Shelter Scotland published research setting out the need for 53,000 affordable homes, including 37,100 for social rent, over the next five years. Based on existing grant rates this would cost the Scottish Government around £3.4bn.
“While we are keen to see more details, including the proposed grant rates and affordable housing target when the plan is finalised, we are concerned that the £2.8bn earmarked for affordable housing in the draft Infrastructure Investment Plan will not address Scotland’s housing need over the next five years.
“If we are serious about ending our housing crisis and addressing the social and economic problems exposed by COVID-19, then we need an ambitious programme of new affordable housing. This means building the 53,000 social and affordable homes Scotland needs.”