Statistics show a 20 per cent rise in the number of new affordable homes approved in 2016

Written by Kate Shannon on 15 March 2017 in News

8,840 affordable homes agreed last year, which includes houses for both the social rental and ownership market

Housing: Picture credit - South Ayrshire Council

New statistics have revealed a 20 per cent rise in the number of new affordable homes approved in 2016, compared to the previous year.

There were 8,840 affordable homes agreed last year, which includes houses for both the social rental and ownership market.

Meanwhile, approvals for new build social rented properties were up 17 per cent in 2016, to 5,101 properties.


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Housing Minister Kevin Stewart said: “Ensuring access to good quality and affordable housing is a key priority for the Scottish Government, therefore it is encouraging that 20 per cent more properties were approved and started last year.

“As part of our efforts to increase affordable housing supply, we are determined to give targeted help to those seeking to move into home ownership.

“Over the past decade our Open Market Shared Equity (OMSE) scheme has helped more than 8,700 people on low to moderate incomes to buy a home. I am delighted that the 2017/18 scheme will welcome new applications from April.

“Alongside our commitment to deliver 50,000 more affordable homes over the next five years – with 35,000 available for social rent – this will all contribute to increasing the availability of affordable homes across Scotland.”

The figures were published as Stewart confirmed £70m of funding for the OMSE scheme in 2017/18 to help first time buyers and priority groups buy a property. This will enable a further 1,700 people to buy a home.

Commenting on the figures, Adam Lang, head of communications and policy at Shelter Scotland said: “While we welcome the increase in the number of new homes being approved, these need to quickly translate into affordable homes being built.

“We will only start to meaningfully tackle Scotland's housing crisis if we can deliver a real step change in affordable housing supply. Crucially this must include a large proportion that are available for social rent at a cost people can actually afford.”

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