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Boost for affordable homes in Scotland

Words: Roger Milne
Housing / Shutterstock: 253816894

The number of affordable homes approved in Scotland over the 12 months to the end of June 2017 increased by 30 per cent on the previous year, bringing the total number of approvals over the year to 10,612.

Official statistics published by the government also show that between 2015 and 2016 and 2016 and 2017, the number of new house builds started, across the public and private sector, rose by 4 per cent from 17,765 to 18,391 – the fourth consecutive annual increase and the highest annual number of starts since 2008-9.

They also suggest that total new housing supply in Scotland increased by 3 per cent in 2016-17, to 18,539 new housing units, 571 more homes than the previous year.

Housing and planning minister Kevin Stewart claimed the figures showed good progress towards delivering the government’s target of delivering 50,000 affordable homes during the lifetime of this Parliament.

Graeme Brown, director of Shelter Scotland, said: “While it is welcome that approvals for new housing starts are up, the only figure that really matters in terms of tackling our housing crisis is the number of new affordable homes built.

“These figures show that last year only 7,336 new homes were completed under the affordable housing programme. This is just 14 per cent of the Scottish Government’s five-year target to build 50,000 new affordable homes.”

Nicola Barclay, chief executive of trade body Homes for Scotland, said: “Given the chronic undersupply of housing in Scotland, any form of increase is obviously welcome but closer scrutiny of the figures shows serious systemic issues which appear to be being downplayed.

“Whilst affordable housing starts might be up, private sector numbers are down by 9 per cent at their lowest level in three years. This is extremely worrying, not just in terms of its impact on the majority of Scots who aspire to own their homes, but also in terms of the consequences for jobs, investment and economic growth.”

Read more:

Housing Statistics for Scotland 2017: Annual Key Trends Summary

Housing Statistics for Scotland Quarterly Update (published 12 September 2017)

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