No room for complacency
Affordable homes target ‘could be missed’ says CIH
There has been a slowdown in affordable homes built
Housebuilders’ ability to meet a government target of 50,000 affordable homes has been questioned in a new report.
While more affordable homes were built during the first year of the target period, the report highlights a slowdown in completion rates during the second and third quarters of 2017.
This downward trend in completions has been more recently underlined by the latest Scottish housing statistics, published on the 13 March, which show a 12% decline in the number of new social sector homes completed in 2017 compared to 2016.
The Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH), the professional body for Scotland’s housing sector, notes that progress has been made on house price affordability and tackling homelessness.
But it has warned that there should be “no room for complacency” about meeting the Scottish Government’s target of delivering 50,000 new affordable homes by 2021.
The CIH’s latest Housing Review says Scotland fares better than elsewhere in the UK with regard to trends in affordability of housing for first time buyers and the performance of the planning system.
The report concludes that “any failure to achieve the 50,000 target will not be for lack of funding”.
But it raises concerns about the sector’s ability to deliver on the target, pointing out that “performance over the first 18 months has been modest, albeit it will take time to gear up to the new output levels.”
The report acknowledges sharp falls in homelessness in Scotland and recent legislative changes strengthening the security of tenure in the private rented sector, which it says will protect more people from losing their homes.
Commenting on the publication of the UK Housing Review, CIH Scotland Deputy Director Callum Chomczuk said the quarterly housing statistics reinforce concerns about the sector’s capacity to meet ambitious targets.
“As such, there should be no room for complacency. Working in partnership with the Scottish Government, I know that our members across Scotland will continue their efforts to achieve a continuously improving picture for Scottish housing in the year ahead and beyond.”