Scottish Government plans for affordable homes ‘not quite good enough’
Scottish Government plans for building more affordable homes in Scotland have been branded “not quite good enough” by a leading housing charity.
Shelter Scotland has called for a more targeted approach to building social housing in the areas of greatest need over the next five years.
The Scottish Government has announced plans to give councils £3.2bn to spend on affordable housing over the next five years, an increase of more than £541m on the previous five-year period.
The target is to build 100,000 new affordable homes over the next decade, but Shelter Scotland called for it to commit to 37,100 social homes by 2025 to reduce the number of people waiting for permanent homes.
Shelter Scotland director Alison Watson said: “The current Scottish Government has built the most homes in a generation, but it hasn’t been enough to close the gap between supply and demand.
“We need to be more ambitious.
“Pledging to build 100,000 new affordable homes in the next decade is a good start, but it’s not quite good enough.
“It will leave too many people waiting for the permanent homes they need.
"We’re calling on the Scottish Government to accelerate its plans to build social homes, so fewer people are waiting for the home they need.
“Specifically, we’re calling for 37,100 social homes targeted in areas of greatest need by 2025.
“Building more quality social homes in the right places will tackle the root cause of homelessness, reduce child poverty and inequality, improve health, create jobs, help Scotland meet its climate targets and support economic growth.”
Announcing the new funding, housing secretary Shona Robison said: “We have already delivered more than 102,000 affordable homes since 2007.
“Building on this, our aim is to deliver 100,000 affordable homes by 2032, with at least 70 per cent of these for social rent.
“Meeting this ambition will require continued collaboration across the private and public sectors.
“I’m pleased to be increasing significantly the available affordable housing grant funding for council areas to help with this important work.
“The five-year allocations will provide the certainty and assurance the housing sector needs to deliver the ambitious affordable homes target set out in our Housing to 2040 strategy.”
The additional funding was has been welcomed by local government body COSLA.
COSLA’s resources spokesperson, Councillor Gail Macgregor, said: “We welcome the Scottish Government’s commitment to contributing to the cost of affordable housing in Scotland.
“The priority for councils, and housing associations, is ensuring rent affordability and warm, safe, comfortable homes for current and future tenants.
“As we look to recover from the impacts of the pandemic, councils are working side by side with their communities.
“We maintain a focus on our shared ambitions around tackling child poverty and climate change, alongside building more houses.”