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Scottish councils receive £1.75bn to invest in affordable housing

Over £1.75bn is set to be allocated to councils in Scotland as part of a bid to drive construction of affordable housing in the country.

Today, for the first-time details about the extent and timeframe of the funding have been released by the Scottish government.

Next year, £532m will be made available to local authorities, with this figure rising to £591m in 2019-20 and then £630m in 2020-21.

The funds have been allocated to help councils and housebuilders plan their investment and also give certainty to authorities on the amount of cash available for housebuilding in the near future. It is also hoped the money will help deliver the Scottish government’s ambition to build 50,000 affordable homes by 2021.

“We are ensuring Scotland has homes that are high-quality, efficient and affordable,” said housing minister Kevin Stewart. “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,” he added.

Stewart added that increasing the supply of affordable homes was a key commitment for the government and vital to its 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,” he concluded.

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

However, industry body Homes for Scotland stated that new housing statistics revealed that overall housing output in Scotland is continuing to flatline with only 88 more homes (1%) built in 2016 than the year before

Nicola Barclay, CEO of the organisation, said: “Whilst the Scottish government highlights a 29% increase in funding approvals for ‘affordable housing’, allocating grant is very different to actually building homes.  

“More concerning for the population of Scotland is the big picture in relation to total figures across all tenures for which completions are still over 36% down on 2007 levels and still less than what was built in 2010.”

A full breakdown of each local authority’s Long-term Resource Planning Assumptions is listed below:

Top Image: Rui Vieira

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