The Scottish government has pledged to commit £300m to ensure the delivery of affordable homes continues once the current parliamentary term ends.
The government hopes the announcement in the Scottish Budget 2020/21 will assuage fears over funding for affordable homes following the next Scottish Parliament election, due to be held in May 2021.
The Scottish Federation of Housing Associations and Chartered Institute of Housing Scotland were among the organisations calling for the Scottish government to commit to financing the development of affordable homes post the 2021 election.
As well as pledging £300m to the Affordable Housing Supply Programme post-2021, the Scottish government will also invest £840m into the Programme in 2020/21, a £17m increase on the fund in the 2019/20 budget.
“Ensuring everyone has access to a safe and affordable place to call home is at the heart of our ambitions,” said communities secretary Aileen Campbell.
“Importantly, our spending plans also include a £300m commitment to guarantee that affordable homes continue to be delivered beyond our 50,000 target, ensuring councils, housing associations and the construction sector have some financial certainty ahead of the spending review in June.”
The budget also outlined measures to tackle energy efficiency, with Scotland’s Energy Strategy designed to “make homes and buildings warmer, greener and more energy efficient.”
Affordable Homes Are a Priority
With house prices increasing by 11% on average since the Brexit referendum, it is imperative that housing remains affordable in the UK, especially for struggling first-time buyers.
Last year it was revealed that the average two-bedroom property now has a national asking price of £193,103, and this could increase to £482,741 over the next 30 years.
The relaxation of Permitted Development has faced criticism for preventing more affordable homes to be delivered, with the Local Government Association arguing that offices converted under Permitted Development could have potentially resulted in 13,500 fewer affordable homes.
First-time buyers struggling to get on to the housing ladder may find that self build offers them the opportunity to build their dream home, and often saving up to 30% on market value.