THE Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA) has welcomed former CBI director-general Sir Richard Lambert’s call (1) for the Chancellor George Osborne to invest in the construction industry with a ‘bold scheme’ on housing.
This follows today’s news that the Bank of England is set to further downgrade its growth forecasts.
SFHA policy director, Maureen Watson, said:
“The SFHA welcomes comments by Sir Richard Lambert that the construction industry and those in housing need would benefit from some ‘bold action’ on housing. In Scotland, the Scottish Government has cut the housing budget substantially in recent years.
“The SFHA has consistently raised the issue with politicians at Scottish and UK level, that we have a huge housing need in Scotland (2), and that investing in housing is one of the best ways to boost the economy and create jobs, creating long-term assets for the country in the process.”
Ms Watson continued:
“We are currently aiming to build 6,000 new affordable homes a year in Scotland (by councils and housing associations). Even if we achieve this target, it will take 60 years to clear the current housing association waiting list of 335,000 households. (3)
“Our members have a range of ‘shovel ready’ housing projects ready to go ahead if the right funding is there. They have the expertise to deliver the good quality affordable housing that Scotland needs, and can lever in up to half the cost of a new-build home from private finance.
“The SFHA calls on the UK and Scottish Governments to make more funding available as a matter of social, and economic, urgency.”
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1) Comments from Sir Richard Lambert on Radio 4 Today programme (8/8/2012) are available here:
2) There is a serious shortage of quality affordable housing across Scotland, with approximately 335,000 households on waiting lists. Statistics supplied to SFHA by the Scottish Housing Regulator (5 July 2011) based on data in the 2009-10 Annual Performance and Statistical Return.
3) The total number of housing association completions in the financial year 2011-12 decreased by 7 per cent compared to total completions in the financial year 2010-11 (from 5,111 to 4,776). Housing Statistics for Scotland: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Housing-Regeneration/HSfS
4) The SFHA was established in 1975 and has around 170 members providing affordable housing and wider community services in Scotland, as well as a further 200 commercial members. The SFHA is owned by its membership and exists to support the work of housing associations and co-operatives in Scotland by providing services, advice and good practice guidance.
5) 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 per cent of the country’s affordable rented housing stock, over a quarter of a million homes across Scotland.
6) Housing associations and co-operatives are not-for-profit bodies regulated by the Scottish Housing Regulator.
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