Scottish Government approves increased subsidies for affordable homes
Councils and social landlords are to get a rise in subsidies from the Scottish Government for building affordable homes for rent
Subsidies to help councils and registered social landlords (RSLs) build affordable homes for rent are to be increased, the Scottish Government announced today.
Grants have been increased by up to £14,000 for each new home over the next three years, with further incentives for houses that achieve a higher green standard.
The subsidies are to help councils and RSLs buy land or buildings and either build, convert or improve housing for social and affordable rent.
The subsidy for council homes will go up from £46,000 to £57,000. For social rented housing built by RSLs in urban areas the subsidy will increase from £58,000 to £70,000, with higher subsidies for RSLs of £72,000 in rural areas and £82,000 in the West Highlands, islands and remoter part of rural Argyll.
The recommendations to increase subsidy levels were the made by the 2015 Subsidy Working Group, which included officers from the Chartered Institute of Housing Scotland (CIHS), the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA), the Association of Local Authority Chief Housing Officers (ALACHO), COSLA and Scottish Government.
Housing minister Margaret Burgess said: “I would like to thank the group for their work on the report. We are aware of the pressures being faced by councils and housing associations, and support their recommendations on increasing subsidies.
“Housing is at the heart of our ambitions to create a fairer and prosperous country and councils and registered social landlords will play a critical role in realising that.”
Burgess said the Scottish Government’s new target of delivering at least 50,000 affordable homes will be backed by over £3bn of investment, creating a 67 per cent increase in affordable housing supply, with 70 per cent of it being for social rent.
Mary Taylor, Chief Executive of the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations, welcomed the news.
“We are pleased that the government has listened to the views of the subsidy working group which was specifically convened to look into grant levels,” she said.
“We look forward to seeing the detail and to working with our members and the Scottish Government to add to the supply of social housing at affordable rents.”
She added: “New affordable homes are urgently needed and these measures will go towards helping the sector to try and meet housing need. Development is a time consuming process and this will allow our members to plan ahead.
“Crucially, the increase will also ensure that the homes are affordable to those working in low paid jobs and on low incomes.”
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