£1.75bn allocated to councils to invest in affordable housing
The money is designed to help local authorities and house-builders plan their investment
More than £1.75bn is being allocated to councils by the Scottish Government in a commitment to stimulate investment in affordable housing.
For the first time, details have been confirmed of each local authority’s full funding allocation for affordable housing over the next three years.
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The move is designed to help local authorities and house-builders plan their investment and provide certainty on the amount of funding available until 2021.
In 2018/19, £532m will be shared amongst local authorities, rising to £591m in 2019/20 and £630m in 2020/21.
Announcing the funding, Housing Minister Kevin Stewart said it would support the government’s commitment of delivering 50,000 affordable homes by 2021.
He said: “Today, we are announcing to local authorities how much money they’ll have to invest in affordable housing until the end of this parliament.
“It means they can plan these new affordable homes now - with the certainty that the funding will increase year-on-year.
“This is also an important signal to the house-building sector in Scotland and demonstrates our commitment to the industry and the estimated 14,000 jobs our affordable housing supply programme supports each year.”
New statistics also show a level of activity in the affordable house-building sector not seen since the early 1980s, with 10,276 affordable homes approved in 2016/17 – a 29 per cent increase on the year before.
However, house building industry body Homes for Scotland said the figures also showed overall housing output in Scotland flatlining, with only 88 more homes (one per cent) built in 2016 than the year before.
Chief executive Nicola Barclay said: “Whilst the Scottish Government highlights a 29 per cent increase in funding approvals for affordable housing, allocating grants is very different to actually building homes.
“More concerning for the population of Scotland is the big picture in relation to total figures across all tenures for which completions are still over 36 per cent down on 2007 levels and still less than what was built in 2010.
“The private sector is the biggest housing contributor overall yet the number of homes being started on site was down eight per cent in 2016, equivalent to over 1,000 homes.”
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