Scottish Government unveils £70m affordable housing funding increase
The Scottish Government is to supply £826 million of funding through the 2019/20 budget to increase the supply of affordable homes.
The funding will be made available through the Affordable Housing Supply Programme and is a £70 million increase on the current year.
Latest statistics show that, since 2007, more than 80,000 affordable homes have been delivered including 54,537 for social rent, 19,553 for affordable home ownership, and 6,014 for affordable rent.
Communities secretary Aileen Campbell said: “At the heart of our ambition for a Fairer Scotland is that everyone has access to a safe, warm and affordable place to call home. This increased budget forms part of the single biggest investment in, and delivery of, affordable housing since devolution with over £3 billion committed which will deliver good quality, secure and affordable homes, which will in turn help create strong, sustainable communities.
“We have set an ambitious target to deliver at least 50,000 affordable homes over the course of this Parliament, including 35,000 for social rent and are making good progress towards that. By ensuring councils and housing associations have financial certainty we are confident that this commitment can be fulfilled.”
The Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA) has welcomed the announcement but urged the government to commit to funding beyond the lifetime of this parliament in order to meet outstanding and future need.
SFHA chief executive Sally Thomas said: “While we welcome the Scottish Government’s funding of £826 million, which is part of its commitment to build 50,000 affordable homes, we would urge the government, and all political parties, to commit to a longer-term programme of delivery beyond the lifetime of this parliament.
“It is vital that the post-2021 Affordable Housing Supply Programme maintains the existing levels of funding to meet outstanding and future need. As well as longer-term funding, it is equally important that we ensure we have the right homes, in the right places, to meet people’s needs and aspirations.”
The SFHA is also calling for planning and land system reform in order to provide affordable land for housing development as well as changes to the housing system so that a range of high quality affordable housing is available to meet people’s changing needs throughout their lives.