SFHA urges political parties to commit to 12,000 affordable homes per year
Commenting on the announcement by the Scottish Government that it has exceeded its five-year target of delivering 30,000 affordable homes by March 2016, the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA) said that this is very welcome news, but highlighted the recent research report commissioned jointly by the SFHA, Shelter Scotland and CIH Scotland which found that at least 12,000 affordable homes need to be built each year for the next five years in order to tackle Scotland’s housing crisis.
Mary Taylor, SFHA Chief Executive, said: “We welcome the fact that the Scottish Government has met its target and acknowledge the manifesto pledge by the SNP to build 50,000 affordable homes over the next Parliament if re-elected. However, we are calling on all political parties to commit to the 12,000 target ahead of the Holyrood elections.
“The research we commissioned provides evidence of the scale of need. Scottish Ministers are already considering expert recommendations made earlier this summer which showed a need for increased public investment per home to produce housing at affordable rent levels – particularly for those on lower incomes – and unlock the private borrowing capacity of housing associations. We are also calling on all political parties ahead of the Holyrood elections to commit to increased investment.”
She added, “Not only do we need to build more homes in which people can afford to live, but it’s vital that the homes are of good quality. This means increasing the amount of energy efficient housing, a straightforward step that will help to reduce fuel poverty and improve the nation’s health.
“Housing is the foundation of people’s lives. With government support in acknowledging and tackling the housing crisis, with the right kind and level of resources, we have an opportunity to improve the life chances of Scotland’s people, including some of the poorest and most vulnerable.”