Scottish Labour proposal to increase social housing supply ‘welcomed’

But welcome comes with warning of continued uncertainty over housing investment.

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SFHA warns of continued uncertainty over future Scottish government investment in housing – while welcoming the ambition of Scottish Labour to increase social housing supply after the current parliament ends in 2021.

“We will work with all parties to ensure the next housing programme delivers the homes that the people of Scotland need,” said Polly Jones, SFHA head of membership and policy.

“However, there is still uncertainty about government investment once the current programme is complete, and many housing associations have put development plans for post-2021 on hold as a result.

“As a sector, we do not want to risk losing jobs, skills, and momentum when we are, at last, turning the corner and beginning to increase affordable housing supply,” she said.

The Scottish Labour Housing Commission released a report outlining an increase in the supply of social housing after the current parliament ends in 2021 – calling for 12,000 social homes to be built each year with longer-term investment for affordable housing.

SFHA says that while the current programme to build 50,000 affordable homes by 2021 is on track, Scotland is far from securing the supply of housing it needs.

With 167,000 people on waiting lists for social housing across Scotland, 500,000 homes lost though Right To Buy, and rents in the private rented sector £100 more per week on average than in social housing, developing more affordable homes is pitched as a priority.

“We welcome the commission’s proposal to explore longer-term investment for affordable housing – investment should be longer-term, instead of fluctuating with parliamentary cycles,” said Jones.

“With continuing ambiguity around Brexit, a government commitment to developing more affordable housing post-2021 would give Scotland a crucial social and economic boost in these uncertain times,” she said.

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