Scottish Government reports rise in council house building

Minister Keith Brown
Minister Keith Brown

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.”