The Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA) has responded to today’s Draft Scottish Budget announcement by Finance Secretary Derek Mackay by welcoming the increase of £138.9m for the More Homes Programme.
Funding for the More Homes programme has increased from £583.6m in the 2017-18 Budget to £722.5m in the 2018-19 Draft Budget.
Sarah Boyack, SFHA Head of Public Affairs, commented: “The increase of £138.9m for the More Homes Programme is a very welcome announcement for the social housing sector. This funding — and the increase in the planning budget of £4.1m — should further assist our members in contributing towards the Scottish Government’s 50,000 affordable homes target and help to house more people who are in desperate need of a home of their own.
“The investment will also secure jobs and training opportunities, key challenges identified by our members in our Brexit report earlier this year.
“Access to the National Manufacturing Institute for Scotland and the Building Scotland Fund will be important for Scotland’s construction industry to secure new, innovative housing.
“While we welcome the Government’s commitment to invest £60m in a Low Carbon Innovation Fund to deliver innovative low carbon energy infrastructure solutions, we are disappointed to see that there is only an increase of £0.2m in funding in the Draft Budget for fuel poverty and energy efficiency. The recent Scottish Household Condition survey showed that there are more housing association households in fuel poverty compared to the national average and, in order to tackle this and invest in energy efficiency, our members will require further funding.
“The Draft Budget includes an additional £4.3m for social security, which is welcome funding for mitigating welfare reform policies such as the ‘bedroom tax’.
“The SFHA looks forward to working with the Scottish Government on the creation of Scotland’s new Social Security Agency to create a fairer system for all.”