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Scottish Charity Register No. SC043760

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Increase in council homes recorded...

April 09 2012
...but it’s still a bad year for building, with new-build completions down 12 per cent on previous year

 

The Scottish Government has announced an increase in the number of council homes in Scotland, with Housing Minister Keith Brown welcoming the 17 per cent rise shown in the latest publication of the Housing Statistics for Scotland.

However, the figures also show a sharp fall for the construction of all new homes in the country.

Although the full yearly record is not yet available, July to September 2011 was the worst quarter for total house building since statistics were first published 15 years ago.

There were 15,106 total new-build completions across all sectors in the 12 months from October 2010 to September 2011, a 12 per cent decrease on the previous 12 months.

Commenting on the publication of the statistics, Graeme Brown, Director of Shelter Scotland, said: “It’s disappointing to see an overall decrease in new social house building, a fact that reflects the big economic decisions made in both London and Holyrood to cut investment in house building.

“But every £10 million invested in housing sustains at least 160 jobs. So, at a time when unemployment continues to rise and demand for social housing greatly outstrips supply, now is the time for bold decisions. More investment in new homes needs to be made a priority.”

In 2010, the Scottish Parliament passed a housing bill that ended ‘right to buy’ for new council and social housing tenants, a policy synonymous with Margaret Thatcher’s government. Furthermore, the SNP committed itself to fund over 5,000 new council homes during this parliamentary term.

Minister for Housing and Transport, Keith Brown said: “The disappointing figures for completions across all sectors show that challenging economic conditions are continuing to have detrimental impact on house-building activity. “However, in response the Scottish Government is doing all it can to support the industry and boost supply. We have committed to deliver 30,000 affordable homes during this Parliament, at least two-thirds of those for social rent and have put in place the funding to make that happen.

“To help achieve that figure we have awarded over £115 million to local authorities to build more council homes which will increase the supply of affordable homes and stimulate the economy.”

The full picture for 2011/12 will not become clear until the private sector announce their figures later in the year.

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