Alex Salmond announces £120 million funding for council housing

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First Minister Alex Salmond today announced funding worth £120 million in order to finance new council house building in Scotland.

The SNP Government will provide the funding together with investment by local authorities in order to construct 1,000 new homes.  The project is expected to support around 1,900 jobs; 1,200 in the housing sector and some 700 more in related trades.


First Minister Alex Salmond today announced funding worth £120 million in order to finance new council house building in Scotland.

The SNP Government will provide the funding together with investment by local authorities in order to construct 1,000 new homes.  The project is expected to support around 1,900 jobs; 1,200 in the housing sector and some 700 more in related trades.

This latest announcement is in addition to last year’s initial two rounds of Scottish Government funding, and means a total of 3,300 new council houses will be constructed under the initiative.  This contrasts with the last Labour led administration that saw only six council houses built in the whole of Scotland.

The First Minister said:
“We are working in partnership with local government to provide a new generation of council housing and I’m delighted to announce these plans for a further 1,000 new homes across Scotland. The Scottish Government’s financial commitment to this scheme, now totalling £80 million, represents the first central government funding of new council houses in three decades and will leverage more than £300 million investment by local authorities.

“We are also legislating to protect all new social housing by exempting it from the Right to Buy scheme that has removed so much of our social housing stock since the 1980s. Not only are we providing more families with a safe and secure roof over their heads, but today’s announcement delivers another timely boost to the construction industry. The funding for the extra 1,000 council houses alone will support around 1,200 jobs in the construction industry and some 700 more in related trades.”

Mr Salmond announced the plans at First Minister’s Questions in Parliament, ahead of a visit with Cllr Pat Watters, President of the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities, to Edinburgh’s West Pilton Crescent where demolition and site preparation is underway for a new housing development.

Cllr Pat Watters said:
“Local authorities across Scotland have played an important role in building high-quality affordable and sustainable council homes for our communities. Councils recognise that housing is at the heart of our everyday lives and binds our communities together. Local authorities have demonstrated a willingness to kick start this programme and have made a commitment to build 3,298 council homes for rent under this initiative – on top of other plans to build more council houses. Not only will councils be building family homes, they are also developing specialist accommodation for people with varying needs.

“Councils have demonstrated their enthusiasm and capacity to deliver in the level of investment to revive council house building. The kick-start money of £80 million from the Scottish Government combined with local authorities’ own financial investment of £315 million puts councils in a position to deliver mixed and sustainable communities. Building through the recession, local authorities are working in partnership with key organisations to ensure that they are playing their part in the economic recovery of the construction industry.”

Cllr Watters added:
“COSLA is working closely with the Scottish Government on the new Housing (Scotland) Bill to make sure that the new supply of council homes are safeguarded for future generations. COSLA is also looking forward to working with the Scottish Government to explore a more sustainable and efficient method of funding affordable housing across all local authorities.”

Jonathan Fair, Chief Executive of Homes for Scotland, the home building industry body, added:
“The recent emergency UK Budget heralded a sustained period of downward pressure on direct public expenditure, and with it also containing little if any measures to stimulate the Scottish house building economy, this announcement is welcome news indeed.

“The Scottish Government’s own figures show just how valuable the home building industry is to the Scottish economy with the funding for 1,000 new homes being announced today supporting almost 2,000 jobs directly and indirectly within the sector.”

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