Making sure everyone in Scotland has access to good quality housing is a vital part of the Scottish Government’s drive to secure economic growth, promote social justice, strengthen communities and tackle inequality.
Recognising the importance of everyone having a safe and affordable home that meets their needs, Housing to 2040 – Scotland’s first long-term national housing strategy – outlines what the Scottish Government wants housing and communities to look and feel like for the people of Scotland, with actions on how to get there. The strategy is a culmination of extensive stakeholder engagement and consultation.
This work contributes to the vision for national wellbeing in Scotland laid out in the National Performance Framework. A range of indicators are used to assess the Scottish Government’s progress towards our purpose and national outcomes. These provide a broad measure of national wellbeing, incorporating a range of economic, social and environmental factors.
The Affordable Housing Supply Programme (AHSP) contributes to the following National Outcomes: Health, Communities, Human Rights, Education, Children, Poverty, Economy and Environment.
Warm and affordable homes are much more than just bricks and mortar, they provide the foundation for family life and the much needed security families require to work, learn and thrive. Ensuring families have suitable accommodation, free from overcrowding, gives children a safe space to do their homework and have friends home from school. Affordable and secure housing removes a significant barrier for parents who can then focus on accessing employment or training opportunities.
An estimated 2,100 households with children have been helped into affordable housing in the year to March 2021. And keeping social rents lower than market rents benefits approximately 110,000 children in poverty each year.
2020-21 was the fifth year of the Scottish Government’s programme to deliver 50,000 affordable homes over the previous parliamentary term, 35,000 of which would be for social rent. The 5-year programme was backed with a commitment of over £3.5 billion, representing a 94% increase on the previous five year investment.
In March 2020 restrictions were brought in to minimise the spread of COVID-19 in Scotland, which meant non-essential work in the construction industry was paused. This had an adverse impact on the delivery of affordable homes at a critical time in our target period.
As a result of the three month pause in construction, and the gradual re-starting of activity following the issuing of COVID-19 safe operating guidance, the 50,000 affordable homes target was not met within the original timescale. We continue to work with partners across the housing sector to deliver the remainder of these homes, as quickly as it is safe to do so, and as construction proceeds in a new safe way.
In 2020-21 the affordable homes provided through the AHSP comprised homes for social rent, for mid-market rent and for low cost home ownership. These homes took various forms including; new build homes, rehabilitation projects, conversions and off-the-shelf purchases of both new and second hand homes.
Funding was provided to Registered Social Landlords (RSLs), councils, community partnerships and trusts, individuals and private developers. This report outlines the AHSP out-turn information for financial year 2020-21.
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