Campaigners hopeful for proposed investment
A £3.3bn commitment to build affordable houses in Scotland could tackle the nation’s housing crisis campaigners say.
It comes as the Scottish Government said it proposed to allocate the cash as part of its infrastructure investment plan up until 2026.
The Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA) along with the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) Scotland and Shelter Scotland, has been campaigning for the Scottish Government to commit to delivering 53,000 affordable homes, including 37,100 for social rent, between 2021 and 2026.
The three housing organisations had called for this to be backed up by funding of at least £3.4 billion to allow social landlords to build the homes to the required building and energy efficiency standards, while keeping rents affordable.
SFHA is also calling for the Scottish Government to carry out an urgent review of grant subsidy levels, before May’s Scottish Parliament election, in order to ensure that social landlords can deliver as many affordable homes as possible, with the ultimate target of 53,000.
Sally Thomas, SFHA chief executive, said: “While a record number of homes have been delivered over the course of this parliament, progress must be maintained at a level which meets, and does not increase, housing need.
“The recent Social Renewal Advisory Board report made recommendations for a fairer and more equal post-pandemic Scotland, central to which is making sure everyone has access to a safe, warm, affordable home.
“The next Scottish Government can help to realise this by ensuring that social landlords have the funding they need to deliver the affordable homes Scotland requires between 2021 and 2026.”
However, Thomas added: “We are disappointed that the government hasn’t increased the adaptations budget as our own research has identified a funding gap of £7 million a year.
“Addressing this will realise significant savings in other budget areas, such as health and social care, and allow people to live safely and well in their own homes for longer.”