19 Nov 2020

CIH Scotland, Shelter Scotland and SFHA make joint call for an increase in funding to build 53,000 social and affordable homes

In a joint response to the draft Infrastructure Investment Plan CIH Scotland, Shelter Scotland and the  Scottish Federation of Housing Associations have called for the  Scottish Government to increase affordable housing supply levels from the current target of 50,000 homes to 53,000 homes in the next Parliamentary term to address existing and newly arising housing need. This call is in line with joint research published by the three organisations in June 2020.

The response acknowledges the capital funding outlined in the draft IIP represents a 16 percent increase on capital investment included in the current programme and will be supported by additional spend through Financial Transactions (FTs) and Transfer of Management of Development Funding (TMDF).

However the organisations have sought clarity on the total funding that will be available to deliver new affordable homes and assurances that grant rates will be uprated to keep rents affordable for tenants on low incomes given social landlords requirement to meet new and higher standards on new build housing.

The organisations note in their response that the 2020 Programme for Government commits to new standards for homes delivered with Scottish Government subsidy including adequate space inside to allow people to work or study from home, outdoor space to allow residents to sit or socialise and better digital connectivity.  All of which will increase the standard and cost of new build affordable housing.

Callum Chomczuk  |  National director, CIH Scotland

Our joint research published earlier this year makes it clear Scotland needs at least 53,000 social and affordable homes over the next five years. We welcome the proposed 16 percent uplift detailed in the draft Infrastructure Investment Plan and look forward to confirmation of additional money being made available through Financial Transactions (FTs) and Transfer of Management of Development Funding (TMDF). However, with the government committing to new higher standards of social and affordable hsouing, it is vital that social landlords are given an appropriate grant that covers the costs of building 53,000 social and affordable homes.

Alison Watson  |  Director, Shelter Scotland

By the end of the next parliament we want to see affordable housing need going into decline. To achieve that, the Scottish Government must commit to building 37,100 homes for social rent. We welcome proposals for additional funding towards this goal, but this is about more than pounds spent. The only meaningful measure of success is delivering quality, affordable homes for the people who need them most in the places where they need them.

Sally Thomas  |  Chief executive, Scottish Federation of Housing Associations

The Scottish Government has made good progress tackling housing need in Scotland since 2016, and it’s vital this – and the ambition driving it – is maintained and not lost or slowed. The effects of the coronavirus pandemic will have increased the demand for affordable housing already there, so it’s critically important that social landlords are able to build the 53,000 homes required during the next programme to keep up with existing and future need. We welcome the government’s planned increase of 16 percent for capital funding of affordable housing and look forward to seeing the full funding details as well as to continuing discussions on grant rates and quality standards.