Affordable homes target exceeded

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The Scottish Government has exceeded its target to deliver 6,000 affordable homes each year, official statistics confirmed today.

In total, 6,882 homes were delivered under the Affordable Housing Supply Programme in 2011/12, supporting jobs and work for the Scottish construction industry.  Of that total, 82 per cent were for social rent.

These figures show the Scottish Government is on target to complete the 6,000 affordable homes needed every year to deliver the overall aim of 30,000 over the life of this Parliament, at least 20,000 of which should be for social rent.

In 2011, the total house building starts across all sectors – including local authorities, housing associations and private housebuilders – reached 13,569, a reduction of 6 per cent compared to the 14,449 starts in 2010.

However, the latest figures also show that the number of private sector housing starts for 2011 reached 10,132, an increase of 13 per cent compared to 2010.

There were a total of 1,011 council homes built in the 2011-12 financial year – the highest number of local authority completions in a financial year since 1991-92.

The Scottish Government will invest at least £710 million in the Affordable Housing Supply Programme (AHSP) over the next three years.

In Edinburgh visiting a new development of 136 affordable homes by Hillcrest Housing Association, Housing Minister Keith Brown said:

“It is very encouraging that we have exceeded our target for affordable homes in 2011/12, Achieving our target also underlines this government’s commitment to investing in jobs, supporting our construction industry and as a result growing the economy.

“Private sector starts in 2011 also recorded an increase, which is good news for the building industry and our economy overall. However, we are not complacent; these are still challenging times for the house building industry and we continue to deal with swingeing cuts in our capital budget from Westminster of some 32 per cent.

“We are responding to these challenges through a sustained package of measures. The innovative National Housing Trust initiative is delivering new homes as is the New Supply Shared Equity with Developers scheme. And we are backing a mortgage indemnity scheme to help thousands of people struggling to buy a home due to high deposit requirements.

“These actions, along with our substantial investment of some £710 million will go on delivering thousands of new homes across Scotland and help us work towards meeting our target of building 30,000 affordable homes over the lifetime of this parliament.

“Our decision to invest £115 million in a new generation of new council housing is now bearing fruit with record numbers of homes being completed.”