50,000 affordable homes target will be challenging to meet - new CIH study
There remains a real challenge for the Scottish government and the housing sector to deliver 50,000 affordable homes by March 2021 according to new analysis from the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH).
The UK Housing Review 2020, which was conducted before the government lockdown in response to COVID-19, shows that completions over the first three years of the Affordable Housing Supply Programme have seen half of the target achieved and means that the remaining half must be delivered in the final two years. This is despite higher rates of performance in delivering new affordable homes in Scotland than in the rest of the UK and almost twice the rate per head of population as England.
In addition, the target for 35,000 social rented homes is equally challenging with only 16,500 social homes built in the first three years. This means that 18,500 units have to be built in the remaining two years. Although the report does note there has been an increase in the provision of social rented homes in the in the past 12 months.
Commenting on the findings of the review, CIH Scotland’s national director Callum Chomczuk said:
“The current crisis has made it even more apparent how important a home is to every one of us. However, our report concludes that even with record levels of investment, and before the construction sector lockdown, that delivering 50,000 affordable homes by next March was going to be a significant challenge for the government and housing sector.
"Right now the overwhelming priority of the sector is to support our tenants and communities throughout this pandemic, providing care and supporting the most vulnerable that cannot leave their homes.
"But when we emerge out of this period it is crucial that the government reaffirms its commitment to working with the sector to complete the 50,000 affordable homes programme and agreeing how we build on it so that everyone has a safe and affordable home."