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Scottish Government housebuilding programme in ‘absolute freefall’

SFHA say government’s target ‘all but over’ as number of homes being built by housing associations plummet to 35-year low.
Sally Thomas, SFHA

The Scottish Government’s programme for building affordable rented homes is in ‘absolute freefall’ according to the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations as government statistics show housing associations started building fewer homes last year than at any time since 1988.

It comes as Fife last week became the fourth Scottish local authority to declare a housing emergency and as pressure mounts on the Scottish Government over its £196 million cut to the affordable housing budget.

The government’s figures also show that the number of homes being approved for build is at the lowest level since 2012, whilst the number of homes starting construction across the overall social housing sector dropped to levels not seen since 2013.

This comes as nearly 10,000 children are growing up in temporary accommodation and the highest homelessness figures on record.

Sally Thomas, Chief Executive of the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA) said: “Scotland desperately needs the homes that housing associations provide: they are safe, warm and affordable homes for rent. Today’s figures show that the number of these homes being delivered are in absolute freefall.  And this is before the Scottish Government’s devastating £196mn cut to affordable housing has even taken effect.”

“We know that government is keen to attract more private investment, but we’re concerned that this isn’t a solution. Social homes need government investment if we’re not to burden housing associations with debt which will force up rents.

“The Scottish Government has a target to deliver 110,000 homes by 2032 – the hopes of achieving that are now all but over. We need them to restore the much-needed funding and urgently work to forge a credible path out of our national housing emergency.”

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