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Building on strong foundations

Published: 9 Sep 2015 10:16
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Affordable homes target set to be exceeded.

The Scottish Government is on course to exceed its five-year target of 30,000 affordable homes by March 2016, Housing Minister Margaret Burgess said today.

Latest housing statistics show that more than 28,000 affordable homes have been delivered and, of that total, 19,025 are for social rent, including almost 5,000 new council homes.

Since 2009, and for the first time in 30 years, councils are being awarded funding to build new housing, which has led to 5,666 new council homes across Scotland.

The Scottish Government will also spend £195 million over the next three years on a new shared equity scheme to help around 6,500 households buy a new-build home.

The successor to the existing Help to Buy (Scotland) scheme will focus on affordable homes, with eligible buyers receiving an equity loan towards the purchase price of a new-build home.

Mrs Burgess said: "Access to good quality housing, for people across Scotland, is my number one priority.

"Against a challenging financial background, the Scottish Government is doing everything it can to increase supply. Over the lifetime of this Parliament, our planned investment in affordable housing will exceed £1.7 billion.

"Housing is about more than bricks and mortar. We want to help create neighbourhoods, with energy-efficient homes, that provide a safe environment for communities to flourish.

"Having more houses is not only good for the economy, it also helps promote social justice, strengthens communities and tackles inequality.

"Scotland is leading the way in the UK in pioneering financial innovation. Using government guarantees, loans, grant recycling and new sources of private funding is substantial and growing.

"Examples include the National Housing Trust initiative, which has delivered more affordable homes for less public investment. We have also reduced waiting lists and homelessness, significantly improved housing quality and energy efficiency.

"We will introduce a new Private Tenancies Bill that will meet the government's commitment to give private rented sector tenants increased security, while giving landlords and investors the confidence to continue investing in the sector.

"We have worked hard to address the housing challenges we inherited and plan to continue our efforts in the years ahead."