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Providing warm, affordable homes is a key SNP Government priority.

Delivering new homes has ensured that the annual supply of affordable housing has been the highest in Britain per 10,000 population each year since the SNP took office in 2007.

In 2023 alone - at a time of huge financial challenge - 10,582 affordable homes were completed in Scotland, 1,592 of which were high quality council houses.

This compares to only SIX built across all of Scotland by the last Labour/Liberal Democrat Scottish Parliament administration between 2003 and 2007.

The SNP Government’s investment in Scotland’s housing can be seen here in North Ayrshire.

North Ayrshire Council’s Strategic Housing Investment Plan for 2024-2029 outlines its commitment to providing new affordable housing, with many developments continuing at pace as part of its £194.5million housebuilding programme. Already 885 new build homes have been built in Largs, Stevenston, Kilwinning, Irvine etc, with 740 more planned, and the Council buying back properties it once owned to add to its housing register.

Across the three towns as well as Largs, Skelmorlie, Kilwinning etc; Cunninghame Housing Association and other registered social landlords have also built hundreds of high-quality affordable homes in recent years, backed by grants from the SNP Government, which average more than three times those per house in England.

This has all been accomplished despite post-Brexit challenges, including labour shortages, high inflation in the construction industry and Tory austerity, which has cut the UK’s allocation of capital to Scotland by 20% over the next five years.

Scotland’s housing focus is in sharp contrast to events south of the border. In 2017 the Westminster Tory Government established a £4,200 million Housing Infrastructure Fund to build new homes. However, after six years less than a third of the money has been spent, some developments had their funding pulled and work has started on fewer than one in ten of the homes promised.

Thus, England faces a chronic shortage of housing that the Tories have failed to tackle, having been unable to meet their own housebuilding targets.

Even though Scotland has been doing better than England, there are increasingly difficult times ahead.

The UK Autumn Statement cut Scotland’s capital allocation in 2024-25 by a shocking £484 million, meaning less money for housing, roads, harbours, schools, hospitals and new digital infrastructure.

Fourteen mortgage rate increases in two years has put huge pressure on mortgage payers and made it difficult for young people to buy their first home.

Although the SNP Government froze rents in the private rented sector to aid private tenants – mortgages being a UK responsibility – the increasing cost of buying a home has hugely increased the demand for private rented accommodation. Allowing local authorities to double the council tax on properties that have lain empty for a year or more, is intended to encourage owners to bring them back into use. A similar increase on second homes is designed to discourage them, freeing up more homes for local people.

The SNP Government continues to invest in affordable housing, which will always be a priority.


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