National Outcome: We have tackled the significant inequalities in Scottish society
The Affordable Housing Supply Programme ( AHSP)
- Rents for Scottish social housing have for many years been based on the principle of affordability to tenants in low paid employment without recourse to benefits.
- ‘Homes Fit for the 21st Century’ (2011) noted that it is up to individual landlords to strike the best balance between social rent levels and meeting the housing needs of local communities, but that rents should not be increased without regard for the importance of affordability for tenants.
- That is why the Scottish Government has prioritised a higher level of grant subsidy through The Affordable Housing Supply Programme ( AHSP).
- £590m to deliver the whole of the AHSP in 2017-18.
- In 2015-16, the average grant provided to Registered Social Landlords through the AHSP for a social rented property in Scotland was £64,668.
- By providing this level of funding, 85 social rented properties were provided through the AHSP in Scotland for every 100,000 members of the population in 2016-17.
- The Scottish Government will deliver at least 50,000 affordable homes by 2021 backed by over
- £3bn – 35,000 homes will be for social rent.
- AHSP is expected to support between 12,000 and 14,000 full-time equivalent jobs in the construction and related sectors over this Parliament.
- The Joint Housing Delivery Plan for Scotland recognises that the effective operation of the AHSP subsidy framework is central to the Scottish Government’s housing ambitions. In April 2015, a short-life working group was set up to consider the first action point contained within the Plan – to provide advice to ministers on whether adjustments to the current subsidy framework and benchmarks are needed to account for inflation and other financial pressures.
- The working group included officers from the Chartered Institute of Housing Scotland, the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations, the Glasgow and West of Scotland Forum, the Association of Local Authority Chief Housing Officers, the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities and the Scottish Government. The increased grant subsidy benchmarks recommended by the group were implemented in full during January 2016.
- When applying for grant subsidy in Scotland, the social rent levels proposed by Registered Social Landlords (projected to the date of completion) are compared against a social rent benchmark published by the Scottish Government (£4,082 per annum, three-person equivalent for 2017-18).
- If the benchmark is exceeded by more than 5%, the Registered Social Landlord must justify why the proposed rent is considered affordable.
- Approval of rents exceeding the benchmark by more than 10% will be given only in exceptional circumstances.
- Local authority social rent levels should strike a balance between being affordable, reflecting local market conditions, and contributing to the cost of the home both in capital and revenue terms.
Contribution to National Outcomes
- Making sure everyone in Scotland has access to good quality, affordable housing is a vital part of the Scottish Government’s drive to secure economic growth, promote social justice, strengthen communities and tackle inequality.
The project contributes towards other National Outcomes, such as:
- We live in well-designed, sustainable places where we are able to access the amenities and services we need.
- We have strong, resilient and supportive communities where people take responsibility for their own actions and how they affect others.
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