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Continued commitment to delivering more homes.
The number of affordable homes approved over the year to the end of June 2016 has increased by 26% on the previous year, bringing the total number of approvals over the year to 8,067.
Official statistics published today also show that during 2015-16, the number of new house builds started, across the public and private sector, rose to 16,910, a 4% increase on the previous year and the highest number of starts since 2008-9.
Housing Minister Kevin Stewart said today's figures showed good early progress towards delivering the Scottish Government's ambitious target of delivering 50,000 affordable homes over the next five years.
Speaking ahead of a visit to a new housing development in Edinburgh which will provide 236 much needed affordable homes in the city, Mr Stewart said:
"We have an excellent track record on housing. The number of affordable home completions from April 2007 to end March 2016 was 60,704 – on average 24% more per year than the 38,015 delivered between April 2000 and March 2007.
"In the previous session of Parliament, we exceeded our target of delivering 30,000 affordable homes, and our bold and ambitious More Homes Scotland approach will build on that achievement.
"We have committed to investing over £3 billion to deliver at least 50,000 affordable homes over the next five years. This is accompanied by increased housing subsidy levels and a new Rural Housing Fund to boost the supply of affordable rural housing.
"National Housing Trust initiatives – such as the one I am visiting at Shrubhill today, are leading examples of the new ground broken by the Scottish Government through innovative financing schemes in housing. Through NHT, 2,000 affordable rented homes have been approved and over 1,000 homes completed throughout Scotland.
"We've also helped stimulate growing confidence in the private housing market and supported people into home ownership, in particular through our £500 million Help to Buy (Scotland) scheme. This year alone we have invested £160 million to support a further 5,000 households to buy a home through our Open Market Shared Equity and Help to Buy schemes.
"High quality, energy efficient, affordable homes form the cornerstone of socially and economically sustainable communities and we will continue to work hard with the entire housing sector to deliver more homes for the people of Scotland."
Today's statistics are also one of the last to show number of Right to Buy applicants. The scheme closed to all new applicants on 31 July 2016. In line with the scheme closing, applications from local authority tenants rose by 40% to 5,006 throughout 2015-16. Throughout the same time period there was a total of 2,088 sales under Right to Buy – an increase of 14% on the previous year.
Mr Stewart added:
"It is absolutely vital that people can access social housing when they need it most. Since Right to Buy was introduced in 1980, nearly half a million council and housing association homes have been sold to their tenants.
"By ending the Right to Buy we are protecting up to 15,500 social homes from sale over the next ten years and safeguarding this stock for future generations."
The statistical bulletins and web table associated with this publication can be found at: http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Housing-Regeneration/HSfS:
Statistical news release: http://scottishgovernment.presscentre.com/Content/Detail.aspx?ReleaseID=10956&NewsAreaID=2&ClientID=1
The Shrubhill site is located off Leith Walk on what is a large 4.5 acre derelict brownfield site, previously a tram depot. The development at the Shrubhill site will provide 236 much needed affordable housing in the north of Edinburgh and will form an important part of the regeneration of the area by helping to create a mixed sustainable community. In total, 374 homes will be built on the site.
In total 150 National Housing Trust (NHT) homes will be built on the Shrubhill site. For more information on the NHT scheme visit: http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Built-Environment/Housing/supply-demand/nht