19 Dec 2023
Today the Scottish Government announced their draft budget for 2024-25. CIH Scotland director, Callum Chomczuk, provided his initial response to the budget, saying:
"Before today’s budget announcement the housing and homelessness sector was united. We collectively called for the Scottish Government use every tool available to tackle the housing crisis. We wanted to see a step change investment that would help address the climate emergency, cut poverty and catalyse economic growth, all by keeping us on track to deliver 110,000 social and affordable homes by 2032. We recognise and welcome the cash term increase to the discretionary housing payments budget and support for continuing with Rapid Rehousing Transition Plans to prevent homelessness but overall the budget today fails to recognise, let alone meet the challenge of Scotland’s housing crisis.
"With new house building starts massively down compared with 12 months ago, construction costs rising and three of Scotland’s local authorities declaring housing emergencies this year, today was the moment to address the crisis. Earlier this year the Scottish Housing Regulator warned of systemic failure in our homelessness services. But today’s announcement does not address the risk and pressures faced by local authority housing and homelessness services. The cash terms cut in the more homes budget of around £200m compared with 23-24 is devastating for our social housing supply programme and our plans to end homelessness.
"Earlier this summer the Scottish Government accepted the recommendations of an independent report calling for the full funding of the delivering of 110,000 homes by 2032, today’s budget moves us further away from this. We need the Scottish Government to urgently review the viability of its 110,000 affordable homes by 2032 target and consider what funding and support is needed to increase sector capacity immediately to deliver the affordable homes Scotland needs."
CIH Scotland will be providing their full analysis of the announcement tomorrow for members.