1,383 council houses were started in the year to June 2011 compared with 713 the previous year, a 94 per cent increase, says the Scottish Government, reports GAIL MILNE
Across Scotland, the Scottish Government has so far allocated £80 million, which will help 23 local authorities deliver, over three years, an estimated 3,300 new council homes.
However, overall, new housing supply decreased by 8 per cent between 2009-10 and 2010-11, from 18,629 to 17,112 units largely driven by a decrease in private completions.
Homeless statistics published also show a 3.3 per cent decrease in the number homelessness applications to local authorities across Scotland in 2010-11.
The proportion of homeless assessed as priority increased to 88 per cent, a two percent increase during 2010-11.
Housing and Transport Minster, Keith Brown said: “As these figures show, Scotland’s housing system continues to face major challenges.
“The economic downturn and restricted availability of mortgage finance continues to have a negative impact on private sector house-building activity, with both starts and completions still well below their pre-credit crunch levels.
“However, local authorities are to be congratulated for the record numbers of council houses, backed by over £80 million, being built across Scotland.
“We are also working with the housing industry and taking a range of positive action to support its recovery, including spearheading the National Housing Trust initiative, the #8m New Supply Shared Equity with developers scheme and the Innovation and Investment Fund.
“Scotland has an important, but challenging, homelessness target: that by the end of December 2012, all unintentionally homeless households will have the right to settled accommodation.
“I am pleased to see that there was a reduction in homelessness applications. It is early days but the prevention of homelessness is a key aspect of the housing options approach and a reduction in applications may be a measure of this.”