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Making the case together for long-term investment in housing

By Sally Thomas, SFHA Chief Executive.

In recent weeks, we have been meeting with members across the country to discuss the Scottish Government’s Housing to 2040 consultation. I’d like to thank everyone who attended one of our consultation events. Your contributions are invaluable in shaping our response and ensuring your views are represented and heard by government. For those who were unable to attend, there’s still time to have your say via our online survey.

The message is clear: we urgently require clarity from the Scottish Government on the next affordable housing supply programme (AHSP). Before we can plan for 2040, plans for post-2021 must be set out.

We will soon publish an update of our 2015 research with Shelter Scotland and CIH Scotland which will provide the evidence of ongoing need and demand for a continued housing programme of scale.

In advance of this, we have been laying the ground with ministers, senior civil servants and opposition parties. This paper, produced in partnership with ALACHO, Homes for Scotland and GWSF, sets out the urgent case for clarity on post-2021 to the government.

The paper has two key asks which reflect what we’ve heard from members:

  1. Confirmation of medium-term programme continuity: maintain the pace of the current programme by setting an interim target of a further 10,000 homes to be delivered each year
  2. Alignment of supply programme with the Housing to 2040 long-term vision: the delivery of much-needed housing in the country should be regarded as ongoing infrastructure and not fluctuate with parliamentary cycles

By taking these two actions, the Scottish Government will maintain the current economic benefits of the programme, including contribution to GDP and job creation, as well as the social – contributing to key poverty and inequality targets, including child and fuel poverty.

Last week’s announcement of an additional £300 million for 2021–22 is a start; however, it falls well short of the commitment we know is needed to maintain the programme and address outstanding housing need. Funding of £300 million would deliver less than half of the additional 10,000 homes per year, based on the current programme.

SFHA will continue to make the case to the Scottish Government for sustaining the current programme. I look forward to sharing our consultation response at the end of this month and to continuing to work alongside members to secure the long-term investment in housing we know is needed.

Sally will be giving an address to this year's SFHA Development Conference. 

The conference is taking place on 17 March at Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh. 

For more information or to book your place, please visit the what's on section of the SFHA website.

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