Kingdom Housing Association, the leading Fife RSL affordable housing provider, has welcomed the Scottish Government’s announcement that the Housing Association Grant is to be substantially raised.
The new subsidy level for new build affordable housing association houses will be increased by up to £14, 000 per home immediately.
Social landlords like Kingdom, a major developer East Central Scotland, will be able to access up to £70,000 in Government support for each new home built.
Kingdom chairman, Charles Milne, congratulated the Scottish Government on today’s (Mon 25/1/16) announcement that subsidy levels would be increased with immediate effect.
Mr Milne said , ” Margaret Burgess, Housing Minister, is to be credited for having the recommendations of the subsidy working group accepted and these new levels will assist those housing associations such as our own, who have remained active in developing housing to tackle Scotland’s ever increasing need for new affordable housing.”
And he welcomed the minister’s pledge to create 50,000 new affordable housing units in the next parliament but also welcomed how the debate on housing was becoming central to the next Scottish Parliament elections.
He added, “I am optimistic that Scotland’s housing crisis can be tackled now in the foreseeable future with the Scottish Labour Party committed to setting a target of 60,000 new homes should they lead the government . This matches the targets as set out in the recent joint report by Shelter, SFHA and CIH so between these two pledges, then surely we can get a consensus that the scandal which is Scotland’s housing crisis can now be seriously tackled in an urgent manner.
” Apart from the case for social justice, the economic case for a huge housebuilding programme is now being discussed. If implemented there may be a skills shortage so the time is now right to look at increasing further education courses and creating more apprenticeships and training opportunities.”
Mr Milne explained, “Last year Kingdom’s Fife Works team assisted 244 Into employment and assisted 202 into training places. That was with limited funding and generally with more money going into the provision of housing then we can do so much more and provide many more young people with opportunities to develop. ”
Lastly Mr Milne urged whichever party that was in Government to continue to expand current initiatives to facilitate private lenders to match the huge increase envisaged in affordable housing investment.
He stressed, “This would also pave the way for the many housing associations in Scotland who are straining at the leash to get on and fulfil what they consider to be central to their cause in protecting and providing value to tenants and building houses”.