Scottish Government builds 4,000 new council houses

Government investment to build thousands of new homesMore than 4,000 new council houses have been built in Scotland with Government funding, providing a “huge boost” to the economy and creating new jobs, First Minister Alex Salmond has said.

Analysis shows that the Scottish Government Council House Build Programme – introduced in April 2009 – has seen more than £135m invested to provide local authority housing for people across the country.

The funding incentivises local authorities to build new homes – the first such central government support to councils in a generation.

Speaking during a visit to a scheme to provide 18 new homes at Noran Avenue in Arbroath, backed by £652,000 of Scottish Government funding, Mr Salmond said:

“Our funding for council house building has now provided more than 4,000 new homes across Scotland and demonstrates the scale and ambition of this programme – the first in Scotland in a generation.

“Backed by £135m of Scottish Government funding, the programme has provided much needed new homes for people the length and breadth of Scotland. This transformation followed the period before this Government came to power, when just 6 council homes were built in 4 years to March 2007.

“This demonstrates our commitment to investing in infrastructure to support our economy. In Scotland we have consistently adopted the approach that maintaining this kind of vital capital spending is vital to support growth and employment – in direct contrast to the austerity and cuts of Westminster.

“Despite these considerable challenges to our budget, we plan to spend over £1.7 billion to deliver our target of 30,000 affordable homes during the lifetime of this Parliament, supporting an estimated 8,000 jobs each year.

“However only the full powers of independence will give us full control to tailor our housing supply investment and initiatives to meet the needs of our communities and the homebuilding industry in Scotland.

“It will also provide the full borrowing powers we need to invest prudently in infrastructure, and not have our capital budget dictated to us by Westminster.”