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Scotland on track to meet its ambitious affordable housing target

The Scottish Government’s affordable housing programme is on target

The Scottish Government is on track to meet its ambitious affordable housing target, new statistics show, with 78,000 built since 2007.

Total new housing supply in Scotland increased by 4% in the 2017/2018 financial year, the fifth consecutive annual increase in total housing supply, and the highest annual figure since 2008/2009.

The official annual housing statistics from the Scottish Government show that new housing supply, that includes new builds, refurbishment and net conversions, rose from 18,683 to 19,428 year on year.

Housing association new builds increased by 14%, local authority new builds increased by 34%, but private-led new builds decreased by 2%, whilst rehabilitations increased by 60% and net conversions decreased by 7%.

The number of affordable homes increased by 16% while approvals increased by 14% and starts also increased by 14%. A spokesman said that this activity represents the first two years in the target period to build 50,000 affordable homes, including 35,000 for social rent, over the five years to 2020/2021.

The quarterly figures show that there were 4,532 new build homes completed between January and March 2018, a 2% increase compared with the same quarter in 2017. This brings the total for the year to end March 2018 to 17,731, up 3% year on year.

Housing Minister Kevin Stewart said they are on track to deliver at least 50,000 affordable homes over this Parliament, including 35,000 for social rent. This is backed by more than £3 billion, the single biggest investment in, and delivery of, affordable housing since devolution.

Stewart said out that making sure everyone has a safe, warm and affordable home is central to this Government’s drive for a fairer and more prosperous Scotland. That is why they are now starting work with the housing sector to consider how they are best able to deliver affordable homes after their current programme.

He added that this year’s Programme for Government included proposals to develop a vision for housing in 2040, the first time they have taken a long term approach to ensuring that Scotland has housing fit for the future.

Stewart said that’s vital if they are to ensure they meet the needs of people in the future and continue to deliver housing for the people of Scotland.