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SFHA says ‘severe cuts’ to affordable housing raises questions

SFHA says ‘no plan on the table’ from Scottish Government over alternative funding for social housing amid £196mn budget cut.
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The Scottish Federation of Housing Associations says the ‘hammer blow’ cut to affordable housing leaves the Scottish Government without a long-term strategy on tackling the housing crisis.

In yesterday’s Scottish Government Budget, announced by Deputy First Minster and Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Shona Robison MSP, the Scottish Government’s flagship Affordable Housing Supply Programme was cut by just under £200mn – nearly 26%.

Analysis from the Fraser of Allander Institute has noted that yesterday’s announcement means the Scottish Government has wiped 37% from the Affordable Housing Supply Programme (AHSP) in the past two years. This has prompted deep concerns from the housing sector about the impact on delivering affordable homes and tackling poverty and homelessness.

Despite budgetary pressures imposed at a UK-level, the SFHA has said that cuts from Westminster cannot explain the Scottish Government’s decision to slash funding for the affordable housing programme in Scotland.

SFHA Chief Executive Sally Thomas said: “The latest analysis from the Fraser of Allander Institute supports our view that the Scottish Government Budget is a hammer-blow for delivering affordable housing and tackling poverty and homelessness in Scotland.

“Whilst there has been a 10% cut in capital funding from the UK Government, this neither explains nor justifies the severe cut of 26% to affordable housing in Scotland.

“This short-sighted cut, which Fraser of Allander analysis makes clear is a second consecutive reduction in budget, suggests the Scottish Government has no long-term strategy on delivering the homes people throughout Scotland desperately need.

“There is no plan on the table to replace the £200m lost from next year’s budget, and the target of building 110,000 affordable homes by 2032 now looks like an impossible dream, both for the government and, more importantly, for the quarter of a million people waiting for them”.

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