CIH Scotland responds to the draft Scottish budget announcement
The Scottish Government set out the draft Scottish budget today (06 February) ahead of the UK Government announcement expected in March. The draft budget includes an allocation of £843 million for the affordable housing supply programme, up from £827 million, and an increase in the budget for energy efficiency to £137 million from £119 million previously.
Callum Chomczuk, national director of CIH Scotland said,
“We are pleased that the Scottish Government has delivered the last instalment of funds to complete the 50,000 affordable homes target. Increasing the supply of affordable housing is the best way to tackle poverty and inequalities, reduce homelessness and improve health and wellbeing. Investing in new affordable homes and housing services saves money for our NHS and criminal justice service. It also creates skilled jobs and boosts the economy.
“However, we still have serious concerns about the lack of financial certainty for the housing sector beyond March 2021. If the Scottish Government does not commit to continuing the affordable housing supply programme, local authorities and housing associations simply cannot build the homes we know we need, and we risk losing the progress we’ve made to date.
“The Scottish Government also announced a slight increase in funding for energy efficiency measures, but in the face of a climate emergency a slight increase is not enough. The Scottish Government set ambitious statutory targets to tackle fuel poverty by 2040 and reach net-zero carbon by 2045. If these targets are to be met, we need to see urgent action now, matched by the funding needed to ensure our homes are warm, energy efficient and fit for the future.”