Scottish Government on track to meet affordable housing target

Michael Lloyd

June 12, 2019

The Scottish Government is on track to hit its ambitious target of delivering 50,000 affordable homes by 2021.

Statistics from the Scottish government has shown more than 9,500 affordable homes were delivered in 2018-19, an increase of 12% on the previous year. As part of this rise, completions of social rented homes accounted for 6,573 of the properties, 25% more year-on-year.

Affordable home is defined as homes for social rent, affordable rent, owned by private landlords with a 20% discount off the market rent, and affordable home ownership, homes sold with a 20% discount of market value. They also include off-the-shelf purchases and rehabilitations, and new builds.

Kevin Stewart, Scottish housing minister, said: “Everyone in Scotland deserves a safe, warm place to live, and I’m delighted that since 2007 we have delivered a total of 86,109 affordable homes including 59,131 homes for social rent.

“We are also firmly on track to deliver our target of 50,000 affordable homes by 2021, backed by investment of £3.3bn. The statistics highlight more than half the homes are now completed with approvals well on course.

“Providing more affordable homes is a crucial part of this government’s aim to create a fairer Scotland and improve communities through inclusive growth.

“On my visits across the country, I have seen the real difference these new developments have made to people’s lives. A home is more than just bricks and mortar – it’s about a sense of identity and belonging.

“It is also great to see a rise in the number of new homes across all sectors providing choice across all tenures.”

The statistics also show a record increase in the number of new build homes completed across all sectors, which reached more than 20,000 for the first time in 10 years.

This rise is reflected in the Registers of Scotland property market report, also published today, which shows that 12% of all residential property sales in the last year were new builds – the highest proportion since 2008-09.

In England the government plans to build 250,000 affordable homes by 2022 across the UK, including homes for social rent. However national figures have showed there are only three areas in the North West where this target has been met, Wigan, Liverpool and Cheshire.

In Northern Ireland over the past five years the Department for Communities and the Northern Ireland Housing Executive have started over 7,660 new social homes.The target is 7,500.

The department said if it has enough funding it will deliver 3,750 additional affordable homes, 700 of which will be from the affordable homes loan fund and rent to own scheme.

Wales’ Independent Review of Affordable Housing Supply’ has called for ‘grant partnerships’ with social landlords to deliver a target number of affordable homes.

It also recommended for ministers to introduce a 5-year social housing rents policy, for all new affordable homes to be built with an Energy Performance Certificate of ‘A’ and a five-year social housing rents policy from 2020/21.

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