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£1.75 billion boost for investment in affordable housing

Published: 13 Jun 2017 10:00

Major long-term commitment to grow number of homes.

More than £1.75 billion is being allocated to councils in a major Scottish Government commitment to stimulate investment in affordable housing.

It comes as figures published today show the highest levels of activity in the affordable house-building sector in Scotland since the early 1980s.

For the first time, details have been confirmed of each local authority’s full funding allocation for affordable housing over the next three years.

The move is designed to help local authorities and house-builders plan their investment and provide certainty on the amount of funding available until 2021.

In 2018-19, £532 million will be shared amongst local authorities – rising to £591 million in 2019-20 and £630 million in 2020-21.

Announcing the funding, Housing Minister Kevin Stewart said this would support the government’s ambitious commitment of delivering 50,000 affordable homes by 2021.

He said: “We are ensuring Scotland has homes that are high-quality, efficient and affordable.

“Today, we are announcing to local authorities how much money they’ll have to invest in affordable housing until the end of this Parliament. It means they can plan these new affordable homes now - with the certainty that the funding will increase year-on-year.

“This is also an important signal to the house-building sector in Scotland and demonstrates our commitment to the industry and the estimated 14,000 jobs our affordable housing supply programme supports each year.”

New statistics also show a level of activity in the affordable house-building sector not seen since the early 1980s, with 10,276 affordable homes approved in 2016/17 – a 29% increase on the year before. 7,000 of these were for social rent new house building.

In the same year, 9,308 affordable homes were started (an increase of 21% on 2015/16) and 7,336 were completed – up by 13%.

Mr Stewart added: “Increasing the supply of affordable homes is a key commitment – and vital to our ambition of tackling poverty and inequality in our society.

“Much has been achieved in our first year of our new affordable housing programme and these figures are evidence that Government investment is stimulating house-building in the affordable sector.

“With a huge number of affordable homes approved last year, we can be confident that our programme is on course to deliver for Scotland.

“Today’s announcement will provide the certainty that local authorities and the sector need to accelerate this progress and ensure we keep up this momentum to reach our goal of 50,000 new affordable homes by 2021.”

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