Regulator cautions against taking private lending for granted
The Scottish Government’s target to deliver 50,000 affordable homes over the current parliament presents opportunities for some RSLs but could throw up financial challenges for others, the Scottish Housing Regulator has warned.
Speaking at the Scotland Policy Conferences seminar in Edinburgh on Wednesday, Regulator chair Kay Blair commended the Scottish Government’s commitment of £3 billion to housing over the lifetime of the parliament and noted the “significant” private investment that the social housing sector has received so far.
However, since the targets for new homes go beyond the levels social landlords have built in the past, Kay warned that the step change will nevertheless bring funding challenges as RSLs seek to help support this delivery.
Kay said: “Currently when RSLs go to the market to seek funding there are usually a number of offers with rates and conditions that are attractive to the borrower. But I would caution that nothing should be taken for granted.
“Some lenders and investors have said that even if they gear up to the maximum extent possible there is a risk that this may not be sufficient to meet demand.”
Effective regulation supports the delivery of the Scottish Government’s national housing priorities by helping to create the environment in which lenders are confident to invest in social housing.
In a wide-ranging speech, Kay also spoke to delegates about the sector’s financial health and discussed the Regulator’s recent statutory interventions in a small number of RSLs.