The Scottish government has set a target to build 100,000 new affordable homes over the next decade as part of a new wide-ranging long-term housing strategy.
The ‘Housing to 2040’ strategy says the Scottish government will take action to boost housing development in rural and island communities to stem depopulation and help areas to thrive (picture: Getty)
Ahead of May’s Scottish Parliament election, the Holyrood administration has published a ‘Housing to 2040’ document setting out how it plans to tackle the country’s housing shortage and the climate crisis in relation to the sector.
At least 70 per cent of the affordable homes built should be for social rent, the document says.
Aileen Campbell, the Scottish government’s communities secretary, said that it had been on track to meet its target of building 50,000 affordable homes during the current parliament, but that the pandemic had knocked this off course.
But she added: “We are committed to meeting [the target] as soon as it is safe to do so.”
A new housing standard will also be introduced to help tackle carbon emissions, under the proposals.
All new homes built by registered social landlords and local authorities should emit zero carbon by 2026, the document said.
This will include using zero-emissions heating systems ahead of the new regulations coming into force in 2024, making greater use of offsite construction and introducing a new business model for affordable home delivery, the document said.
Decarbonising the country’s current stock of domestic and commercial buildings will cost around £33bn up until 2045, the government has estimated.
A new fund would also be established to help Scottish councils bring empty homes back into residential use, under the proposals.
The strategy also vows to end homelessness and rough sleeping.
It also says the government will take action to boost housing development in rural and island communities to stem depopulation and help areas to thrive.
Sally Thomas, chief executive of the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations, said that the organisation looks forward to “seeing further detail of the strategy’s proposals” and working with the next government on delivering homes.
The government said the priorities in the strategy would be adopted subject to the outcome of May’s election. The ruling Scottish National Party is currently heavy odds-on favourite to retain control at Holyrood.