Scotland is experiencing a sharp rise in council house building with over 700 new homes planned nationwide by the end of March 2011, Housing and Communities Alex Neil said today.
Ministers have allocated almost £80 million to help 23 local authorities kick start building projects over three years that should result in over 3,000 new council homes while supporting around 2,000 construction jobs.
Mr Neil was in Dunbar to open 88 new council houses, the first to be built in the town since 1974, backed by 2.2 million pounds funding from the Scottish Government. In total, the Scottish Government is supporting 267 new council houses in East Lothian across the three rounds of funding.
Among the local authorities to receive funding, Highland Council opened 22 new council houses yesterday, the first in the region for 15 years and Dundee City Council has received funding for 40 homes.
Edinburgh also has plans for hundreds of Scottish Government-backed council houses in the capital.
Alex Neil said:
“Council houses are springing up all over Scotland with hundreds planned this year. That compares to six built by the previous administration between 2003 and 2007.
“Scottish Government funding has helped local authorities to continue to reverse the decades of decline in council house building. That is good news for families across the country that want access to high quality, affordable homes.
“This government will continue to work hard to safeguard jobs, support the constr Housing Minister Alex Neil meets new council house tenants, William and Ella Walker.uction industry and keep the economy moving.”
Councillor Stuart Currie, Cabinet Member for Housing and Community Safety at East Lothian Council, said:
“We were delighted to welcome Mr Neil to Dunbar this morning to see the completed first phases of this development at Brunt Court and to meet some of the tenants. East Lothian Council is committed to providing high-quality, modern and attractive homes for our tenants and we are happy to be funding this along with significant help from the Scottish Government. This Dunbar development is just one of the excellent building projects we are currently undertaking.”
Jonathan Fair, Chief Executive of home building industry body Homes for Scotland, said:
“This, quite literally, represents concrete proof of the benefits public sector investment in housing is having on the private sector in terms of protecting jobs, skills and capacity.”
Graeme Brown, Director, Shelter Scotland, the housing and homelessness charity, said:
“Building more council houses is one of the ways to tackle Scotland’s chronic shortage of affordable homes. We welcome these new council houses which are good news for people stuck on waiting lists. Shelter Scotland has been campaigning fervently for more affordable homes to be built and, while today’s news is a step in the right direction, we urge the Scottish Government to make investment in housing a national priority.”