Healthy start to delivering ambitious 50,000 affordable homes target
2016-17 is the first year of the Scottish Government's five-year commitment to invest over £3 billion to deliver at least 50,000 affordable homes - 35,000 of which will be for social rent. This commitment is key to building and sustaining a fairer and more prosperous Scotland.
Our previous 30,000 affordable homes target was exceeded by more than 10% - 33,490 much-needed homes were delivered in communities across Scotland, with 22,523 of these being for social rent. From Stornoway in the north to Annan in the south, Oban in the west to Dundee in the east, many more households now live in safe, warm and affordable accommodation.
By harnessing all of our skills and capacities, we can continue to deliver more of the right homes in the right places to make a positive impact on people's lives. Our bold and ambitious target for another 50,000 households to have access to good quality, affordable homes presents a huge opportunity to continue to meet local housing needs, empower communities, benefit people's health and improve educational attainment.
As Housing Minister Kevin Stewart noted on a visit to an affordable housing development in Edinburgh during autumn 2016: '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.'
It was great to see that affordable housing approvals over the year to the end of September 2016 were up by 34% compared to the previous year - this is a really healthy start to the 50,000 affordable homes target. Close working with partner organisations, including housing associations, local authorities and the private and voluntary sectors, will continue to be crucial to ensure that we build on this increase in the pace and scale of delivery.
These are such exciting times for housing. We really look forward to working with you to transform our ambition into reality. We ask you all to do all that you can to help deliver this programme for households across Scotland. And, in return, we will do all we can to support you in this.
Email: Annabel MacMillan