Record number of affordable homes being approved


​Scottish Government says it is tackling affordable homes crisis 

12th September 2017 by Robert Armour 0 Comments

Official figures show a 30% increase on affordable homes being approved in Scotland.  

Statistics published this week also show the number of new house builds across the public and private sector rose by 4% from 17,765 to 18,391, the fourth consecutive annual increase and the highest annual number of starts since 2008-9.

Housing minister Kevin Stewart said the figures showed good progress towards delivering the Scottish Government’s ambitious target of delivering 50,000 affordable homes during the lifetime of this parliament.

He said: “One of the most important factors in any person’s quality of life is their housing and access to good quality, warm and affordable housing is a vital part of our drive to secure economic growth, strengthen communities and tackle inequalities.

“This government is committed to delivering more affordable housing per head of the population than the UK government.

“We are offering significantly more grant funding for each unit of affordable housing, with each unit in Scotland supported by an average of £52,400 compared to just £25,300 in England.”

The end of Right to Buy in August 2016 marked a major milestone in efforts to accommodate more families in social housing, Stewart said.

“Since Right to Buy was introduced in 1980, nearly half a million council and housing association homes have been sold to their tenants.

“By ending the Right to Buy we are protecting up to 15,500 social homes from sale over the next ten years and safeguarding this stock for future generations.”

However director of Shelter Scotland Graeme Brown said that while the rate of approvals were up, the only figure that really mattered was the number of new affordable homes built.

“These figures show that last year only 7,336 new homes were completed under the Affordable Housing Supply Programme. This is just 14% of the Scottish Government’s five-year target to build 50,000 new affordable homes,” he said. 

“The figures also show that a total of 3,510 homes were lost from the social housing stock last year due to a 68% increase in right-to-buy sales. 

“It is also concerning that local authority eviction actions against social tenants resulted in a 9% increase in evictions and abandoned dwellings.

"This is further evidence that welfare reforms continue to hit some of the poorest people in our society the hardest and that social landlords need to focus on alternatives to eviction to prevent homelessness.”