Fairer Scotland

Building change for Scotland – reflections on a big week for housing

March 17, 2017 by No Comments

This week has been full of important announcements and milestones for affordable housing in Scotland.

At the start of the week the Cabinet Secretary announced that over £590 million will be made available for 2017/18 to increase the supply of affordable homes in Scotland. I was so pleased to see this announcement being made – not only will it help to ensure that we meet our target of  delivering 50,000 more affordable homes, these extra houses will support on average 14,000 jobs a year in construction and related industries over the lifetime of this Parliament.

On Tuesday I addressed the Chartered Institute of Housing’s Scotland’s annual conference Scotland’s Housing Festival. This important conference was an excellent chance to hear directly from people who work in the housing industry and gave me an opportunity to explore the key issues facing the sector. During my speech I announced £70 million of funding for 2017/18 for the Scottish Government’s Open Market Shared Equity (OMSE) scheme to help first time buyers and priority groups buy a property on the open market. This will enable a further 1,700 people to buy a home.

Also, that same day, the latest quarterly housing statistics were published – showing a 20% increase in the number of affordable homes approved in 2016. These are promising figures and will contribute to increasing the availability of affordable homes across Scotland.

This week I was also pleased to help break ground on a new development in Bridgeton as part of a new Thenue Housing Association project. The homes that will be built here will provide affordable, good quality social rented housing and will help provide much needed housing in the area. The work of community based housing associations is of great importance to achieving our housing goals and I was grateful to meet some of the people who worked so hard to get this development off the ground.

I look forward to seeing the continuing work of the many housing associations, councils, developers and others which are vital to helping us shape a future for Scotland which ensures that everyone has the chance to have a good quality, affordable and sustainable place to live.


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