SFHA welcomes affordable housing increase and acknowledges challenges ahead

Sally Thomas

The Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA) has welcomed Scottish Government statistics showing substantial increases in the delivery of new build affordable housing.

New figures revealed a 21% rise in the number of affordable homes delivered in Scotland during the last year.

Responding to the positive news, Sally Thomas, SFHA chief executive, said: “I’m delighted that these figures show that housing associations are working hard to deliver much needed affordable homes, and in particular homes for social rent. We know from housing association waiting lists, and from our own research, that there is significant and consistent demand for social housing across Scotland.

“The Scottish Government’s commitment to 50,000 affordable homes over the course of the current parliament is impressive. Housing associations, as the main providers of new build affordable housing, have stepped up and are delivering high quality affordable homes.

“This investment also delivers other benefits. Jobs and training are provided when new homes are built, as are improved health and educational outcomes and safe successful communities.

“We know that continuing the work to supply more affordable housing will be a challenge. Development takes time – from engaging with communities to develop proposals, to buying land and getting planning consent. Today’s figures show housing associations have the expertise and experience to do all this and more successfully.”

Looking forward, Sally Thomas said: “There are a number of opportunities to streamline and speed up delivery. The Planning Bill, which is currently going through the Scottish Parliament, has the potential to significantly expand delivery and we will continue to work with politicians on all sides to make this work.

“We will also be working hard to ensure the construction industry can modernise and attract the labour force it needs, both essential to delivering more homes. Our partnership with the Construction Scotland Innovation Centre will be a major aspect of this ambition.

“We are committed to working with all political parties, and with partner organisations, to ensure housing associations can continue to deliver the homes Scotland needs for future generations.”

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