The Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) Scotland, the Scottish Federation of Housing Association (SFHA) and Shelter Scotland say that the Scottish government needs to build 53,000 affordable homes over the next Parliament (2021–2026) and to commit to a capital investment programme of at least £3.4bn over five years.
The organisations carried out joint research five years ago, which set out the need for 60,000 affordable homes to be delivered between 2016 and 2021. “The latest figures show that we were on track to meet the Government’s target of 50,000 affordable homes. Just under 40,000 grant-funded affordable homes had been approved in Scotland from the beginning of 2016/17 until December 2019. However due to the lockdown and the pause on construction activity the 50,000 target will not be reached by March 2021.”
They said that the crisis has emphasised the importance of having a safe, affordable place to call home and “as we seek to rebuild the country, the need for housing is likely to be greater than ever – both for Scotland’s people and its economy”.
They added: “With 120,000 on housing waiting lists and local authorities losing 500,000 homes through the right to buy before it was abolished in 2016, these are homes that are desperately needed by families and communities across the country.”
Industry body Homes for Scotland has reported that four jobs are created for new every home built and that there are 80,000 jobs associated with home-building in Scotland.
“This isn’t the time for timidity,” said CIH Scotland, SFHA and Shelter Scotland. “Politicians from all parties must think differently and recognise that we can choose to end homelessness, to end poverty in this country and give everyone the right foundation for safe, secure life. This all starts by building the 53,000 affordable homes the country needs.”