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14/03/17 09:38

More affordable homes in pipeline

20% increase in approvals during 2016.

The quarterly housing statistics have revealed good news for low income families and first time buyers – as more affordable new homes were approved last year.

There were 8,840 affordable homes approved in 2016 – a 20% rise on the previous year – which includes houses for both the social rental and home ownership market. Meanwhile, approvals for new build social rented properties were up 17% in 2016, to 5,101 properties.

The figures were published as Housing Minister Kevin Stewart confirmed £70 million funding for 2017/18 for the Scottish Government’s Open Market Shared Equity (OMSE) scheme to help first time buyers and priority groups buy a property. This will enable a further 1,700 people to buy a home.

Speaking at the Chartered Institute of Housing Scotland annual conference in Glasgow, Mr Stewart said:

“Ensuring access to good quality and affordable housing is a key priority for the Scottish Government, therefore it is encouraging that 20% more properties were approved and started last year.

“As part of our efforts to increase affordable housing supply, we are determined to give targeted help to those seeking to move into home ownership. Over the past decade our OMSE scheme has helped more than 8,700 people on low to moderate incomes to buy a home. I am delighted that the 2017/18 scheme will welcome new applications from April.

“Alongside our commitment to deliver 50,000 more affordable homes over the next five years – with 35,000 available for social rent – this will all contribute to increasing the availability of affordable homes across Scotland.”

Background

The 8,840 new affordable houses approvals in the year to end December 2016 was up 20% (1,448 homes) compared to the previous year. This includes increases in social rent approvals (up by 12%, 624 homes), affordable rent approvals (up by 26%, 257 homes), and affordable home ownership approvals (up 41%, 567 homes).

View the full Quarterly Housing statistics.

The Open Market Shared Equity scheme is for the purchase of properties on the open market and is targeted at first time buyers and priority access groups. These include: social renters (people renting from a local authority or housing association); disabled people; members of the armed forces (or those who have left within two years); and widows, widowers and partners of service personnel up to two years after their partner has been killed while serving in the armed forces.