Scotland’s affordable homes sector is providing low cost housing at a higher rate than any other part of the UK, figures sourced by Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe) show.
Across a number of measures, Scotland’s affordable sector is outstripping activity in the rest of the UK – including on affordable home completion rates, where Scotland led the UK in 2015-16 with 41% of new completions being affordable homes, compared to only 16% in England.
SNP MSP Ruth Maguire, who sits on Holyrood’s Local Government and Communities Committee, said, “Whilst the Tories at Westminster are presiding over a housing crisis south of the border, the Scottish Government is taking decisive action to build more houses.
“Since the SNP has been in power, Scotland’s affordable sector has been consistently outstripping building activity in the rest of the UK. In every year since the SNP came to power, Scotland has outperformed England on social sector completions as a proportion of all new homes.
“And with the Scottish Government’s budget committing £470 million of direct capital investment this year to begin the delivery of 50,000 affordable homes over the course of this parliament backed by £3 billion of funding, it is clear that the SNP remains steadfast in our efforts to keep growing the housing supply across Scotland.”
However, while good news for the affordable homes sector, the overall figures reveal a decline in Scottish housebuilding last year. Industry bodies have warned that the country needs to build more homes of all tenures
Gordon Nelson, Director of FMB Scotland, said, “The Scottish government has demonstrated a welcome commitment to house building, and it is right to highlight its successes in maintaining a high level of new affordable housing. However, this does not overshadow what seems to be a generally stagnating wider market. Scotland was the only part of the UK to see overall housing completions decline year-on-year in 2015/16 when compared to 2014/15, and it is this lack of supply that is driving house price inflation and exacerbating affordability problems. Affordable housing is undoubtedly critical, but it needs to be part of a diverse mix of new homes.”