Friday, April 17, 2009

More cash for council homes

The Scottish Government today announced an additional £25 million to support the construction of local authority homes.

The money, which is expected to support 3,000 jobs, takes the total government investment in council house building to £50 million, the most spent in 30 years.

Just last week the Scottish Government announced the first 14 councils to benefit from the fund when almost £17 million was allocated. Work is currently underway to allocate the remainder of the cash as quickly as possible.

Announcing the additional investment today, Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing Nicola Sturgeon said:

"The Scottish Government is investing record amounts in affordable housing, more than 1.5 billion pounds over three years, despite the tightest settlement from Westminster since devolution.

"These are hard times for businesses and families across Scotland and this government is working hard to meet this challenge, safeguard jobs, support the construction industry and keep the economy moving.

"In the Scottish Government's first year in office, more public sector homes were started than at any time since the early 1990s.

"The announcement of additional funding today will help local authorities to continue to reverse the decades of decline in council house building, providing people and their families with access to good quality homes that they can afford."

The council house building fund is just one part of a wider package supporting affordable housing in the economic downturn. Already the Scottish Government has:

  • announced a record £644 million for the affordable housing investment programme this year
  • extended the open market shared equity pilot to cover the whole of Scotland, backed by £60 million
  • announced its intention to legislate to end the right to buy on all new build social housing
  • launched the £35 million Homeowners Support Fund which helps households in financial difficulty

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