SFHA: Stability in housing investment only way to increase affordable housing supply
Commenting on the release of the latest housing statistics, the SFHA said that only stability in housing investment will increase the supply of affordable homes.
For immediate use: Tuesday 13 September 2016
Commenting today (Tuesday 13 September) after the publication of the Housing Statistics for Scotland 2016: Key Trends (1) and the Quarterly Housing Statistics (2), the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA) said that their release highlights that only stability in housing investment will increase the supply of affordable homes.
In 2015/16, 2,320 housing association new builds were completed, the lowest level of completions since 1999/00 (3).
Graph 1 – Housing Association rate of new build completions and new build approvals since 2008–09 (4) (5)
Looking forward, completions will improve, as the number of new build approvals in 2015/16 was 2,906, an increase of around 10% on 2014/15. Future figures for completions should show further increases as more projects are being approved now.
Mary Taylor, Chief Executive of the SFHA, said:
“These figures are a stark reminder of the importance of stable investment in housing. The lowest level of housing association completions in almost 15 years shows the damage that was done when the volume and rate of investment were drastically reduced by the Scottish Government some years ago.
“SFHA is pleased the Scottish Government listened to our case for investment and reinstated a more realistic rate of investment in affordable housing to meet the need of 50,000 households across Scotland. A stable programme of investment – in terms of total budget available and per unit rate of investment – is the only way to increase affordable housing supply.”
Mary Taylor continued:
“However, there are other challenges ahead for housing associations due to the UK Government’s welfare reform agenda such as the capping of Housing Benefit to Local Housing Allowance (LHA) levels. This policy, which is due to begin next year, could seriously threaten landlords’ financial security and therefore their ability to develop.
“We will continue to campaign on behalf of our members and their tenants against the damaging LHA cap.”
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The Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA) was established in 1975 and has around 120 members providing affordable housing and wider community services across Scotland, as well as a further 200 commercial associates. The SFHA is owned and governed by its members and exists to lead, represent and support the work of housing associations and co-operatives throughout Scotland www.sfha.co.uk
The SFHA is the voice of the principal builders and managers of new affordable housing for rent in Scotland. Housing associations own and manage around 40% of the country’s affordable rented housing stock, over a quarter of a million homes across Scotland.
Housing associations and co-operatives are not-for-profit bodies regulated by the Scottish Housing Regulator.