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Affordable home target unlikely to be on time

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Despite the Coronavirus Crisis, Scotland has remained on track to meet its new affordable homes target of 50,000 by next March.

Latest figures show that just over 12,000 affordable homes were approved in the year to June 2020. This is 13 per cent up on the previous year and compares with an all-sector total annual build of around 23,000 new homes.

Affordable home starts were less impressive, but were still up on last year, at just under 11,000.

‘There is no doubt that COVID-19 has had a significant impact on the construction sector’, admitted Housing Minister Kevin Stewart.

‘The lockdown meant nearly a third of the year saw little to no activity able to take place and a necessary pause in the delivery of affordable homes – but we remain committed to delivering the homes that Scotland needs. Our focus now is to get on with the job, and to do it safely.

Backed by a commitment of more than £3.5bn, we are delivering more good quality, secure and affordable homes, which will in turn help create strong, sustainable communities.

‘We were on track to deliver on our commitment to meet the 50,000 affordable homes target by the end of March 2021 but, due to the impact of the pandemic, it is now unlikely we will do so – but we will continue to work with partners across the housing sector to ensure the delivery of the remainder of these homes, as quickly as it is safe’.

The Scottish Government said it has now delivered nearly 96,000 affordable homes since 2007, with more than 66,000 of these for social rent.