Scotland makes progress on affordable housing delivery

The Chartered Institute of Housing has praised the Scottish Government for progress made towards meeting its target to deliver 50,000 affordable homes over five years to 2021, but has urged it to make clear its future funding plans.

As well as delivering 50,000 affordable homes, the Scottish Government wants 35,000 of these to be for social rent. By the end of 2018/19 just over 50 per cent of the overall target for completions had been met with the figure rising to 61 per cent in terms of approvals.

A sharp increase in completions will be required to meet the target by 2021 but this will be supported by planned funding allocations towards the end of the programme.

The report also warns of the potential implications of Brexit uncertainty and the complexity being created in terms of immigration status affecting people’s entitlement to certain types of support.

Callum Chomczuk, director of CIH Scotland said:

“While we are pleased that the Scottish Government’s commitment to affordable housing supply is providing good quality homes across the whole of Scotland, we have deep concerns about future funding arrangements.”

“The 50,000 homes target represented a significant increase in funding for new homes and as we can see from the figures, it has taken the sector several years to build up the capacity to deliver homes in the volume that we need.”

“We have had no indication of what funding levels will be after next year and there’s a danger that social landlords will simply have to stop building. Skilled staff will leave the sector and we will end up back where we started.”

“The 50,000 homes target is just beginning to make up for loss of affordable homes through right to buy and planned demolitions of old stock that was no longer fit for purpose. If we are serious about increasing affordable housing in Scotland, to end homelessness, improve heath and wellbeing and reduce poverty and inequality, we need a long-term plan for delivery backed by funding.”

By Patrick Mooney, Editor