£35m increase in funding to help councils deliver more homes



The Scottish Government has announced a £35 million increase in funding available for councils to build affordable homes, bringing the total amount for this year to £568m.

The funding will be split between the 32 councils and will be increased over the next two financial years to reach £591m in 2019/20 and £630m in 2020/21.

The increases bring the overall funding allocated to councils for affordable housing to £1.79 billion over three years.

Housing minister Kevin Stewart said: “Affordable housing is about more than just bricks and mortar – it provides safe, warm homes, helps create a fairer Scotland, and delivers great economic benefits.

“Statistics show we have delivered almost 72,500 affordable homes since 2007, and we are on track to deliver at least 50,000 over this Parliament, backed by over £3 billion. That is the single biggest investment in, and delivery of, affordable housing since devolution and I am determined to see it benefit all parts of Scotland.

“We will work in partnership with councils and housing associations to deliver quality homes to meet local needs. This investment backs up our ambitions with financial certainty, meaning councils can plan homes now, with a guarantee of increased funding each year.”

In 2018-19, more than £756m will be made available through the Affordable Housing Supply Programme – 28% higher than the previous year. The remaining investment will fund national schemes, including support for first time buyers and increasing rural and island housing.

Councillor Elena Whitham, COSLA community wellbeing spokesperson, said: “Councils and our partners locally are working hard to deliver significant increases in affordable houses across Scotland this year. They recognise good quality affordable housing as the cornerstone of building strong and resilient communities.

“Good housing contributes to many outcomes local government is seeking to improve – ultimately creating a fairer and more equal society. The increase in funding for the affordable supply programme is welcomed. Also welcomed is the financial certainty up to 2020-21, which makes planning activity much easier. This is a good example of longer term financial planning.”

Full details of the Affordable Housing Supply Programme budget, and the three year allocations for councils, can be found online.