SFHA responds to Scottish Government’s planning consultation

David Stewart
David Stewart

The Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA) has called for a planning system that enables the provision of more quality affordable housing and the creation of better places.

Responding to the Scottish Government’s Planning White Paper Consultation, People, Places and Planning, the SFHA also suggested that providing housing in town centres may help to regenerate these areas while providing homes close to amenities and services.

David Stewart, SFHA policy lead, said: “Housing associations have a strong track record in providing and managing quality affordable housing, in regenerating local communities and in placemaking. Our members are the principal providers of new build social housing in Scotland.

“Our response to the White Paper, compiled following consultation with members, focussed on access to affordable land as the biggest challenge to providing the quality social housing that we know Scotland needs.

“A study commissioned by SFHA and other housing bodies found that Scotland needs 60,000 homes for social rent over the next five years to meet housing need. The Scottish Government responded by setting a target of 50,000 affordable homes, backed up by £3 billion of investment. The target includes 35,000 homes for social rent, which will be provided mainly by housing associations.

“Land is key to future supply of new housing. The SFHA has also proposed a number of possible solutions to unlock land, including land being transferred at existing use value, zoning of land for social housing, the introduction of a derelict land tax to incentivise development and the use of Compulsory Purchase and Sales Orders.”

Earlier this week, CIH Scotland said the successful reform of the planning system will be crucial in delivering the targeted 50,000 new affordable homes by the end of the current parliament adding that the changing needs of an ageing population and other important demographic trends will also need to be addressed.

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