Kevin Stewart SNP MSP, Minister for Local Government & Housing in Scotland, delivered a video on Twitter on Friday 3rd April saying Scotland is unlikely to meet its affordable homes programme target due to the current Coronavirus pandemic. SFHA supports the Government’s position, saying ‘people’s health and safety must come first’.
Kevin Stewart SNP MSP, Minister for Local Government & Housing in Scotland, said in his video: “For the past four and half years I and many others have put our hearts and souls into delivering 50,000 affordable homes for the people of Scotland, including 35,000 for social rent. That’s been backed by over £3.5bn pounds of investment.
“But unfortunately the current COVID-19 pandemic makes it unlikely that we will reach that target and for now our priority has to be to ensure the health and wellbeing of all of our people.
“I would like that thank everyone who has been involved in helping deliver our ambitious affordable homes — government civil servants, local authorities, housing associations, the construction industry and many, many others who have worked very hard to achieve to what we have done so far.
“I know that you will rise to the challenge after the pandemic is over and that we will do everything possible to the deliver as many affordable homes as we can, but for now stay home, protect our NHS, stay safe and get ready to come back to work in the future to deliver our ambitious housing programme for Scotland.”
Responding to comments made by Housing Minister Kevin Stewart on Twitter that, due to the coronavirus outbreak, it is unlikely the Scottish Government will meet its target of delivering 50,000 affordable homes by 2021, Sally Thomas, Chief Executive of the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA), commented: “Before the coronavirus outbreak, it looked likely that the Scottish Government would meet its target of delivering 50,000 affordable homes by 2021. However, development has been paused by the Government — and SFHA supports this as people’s health and safety must come first.
“Our members have worked hard to help the Scottish Government to meet its affordable homes target, and they will do so again once it is safe to re-start construction.
“We are currently working with Shelter Scotland and CIH Scotland on research into affordable housing need post-2021. After the coronavirus crisis ends, the need for affordable housing is likely to be greater than ever — both for Scotland’s people and its economy. Not only does affordable housing help to support some of the country’s most vulnerable people, but building homes boosts the economy by creating jobs — both of these benefits will be much needed.”
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