Scottish Federation of Housing Associations: Concern Remains Over Subsidy Levels
Published by SFHA for Scottish Federation Of Housing Associations in Housing and also in Universal Credit
Commenting in advance of the Parliament debate on the Scottish Government’s Budget Bill, the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA) has said that it remains concerned over the level of subsidy that is now available per new house.
Susan Torrance, SFHA Policy Manager said:
“Any additional investment in social affordable housing to redress the substantial reductions seen over the last year is good news and we welcome the £200 million which the Scottish Government has invested in the last year.
“Our concern remains the level of subsidy that is now available per new home – cut from approximately £70,000 per house to £40,000 per house on average – as this gives housing associations and co-operatives a real dilemma about how to use this money. Many of our members have used sites bought at low prices or given free by local authorities combined with their own cash reserves to carry on building, but these options will run out.
“The other option is to raise rents for tenants and borrow more private money from banks. However, this hits the poorest in Scottish society at a time when welfare reform is already causing anxiety over issues like reduction in benefits for additional bedrooms and direct payments of benefit to tenants. Every housing association is facing different challenges in trying to find ways to build, but all are facing the overwhelming demand for good quality housing at rents which can be afforded by hard working people on low incomes. There is no magic solution other than realistic levels of grant to make this possible.”
For further information, contact Kirsten Walker on t: 0141 567 6221 m: 0788 788 8348 or e: firstname.lastname@example.org
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1. The SFHA was established in 1976 and has around 170 members providing affordable housing and wider community services in Scotland, as well as a further 200 commercial members. The SFHA is owned by its membership and exists to support the work of housing associations and co-operatives in Scotland by providing services, advice and good practice guidance.
2. The SFHA is the voice of the principal builders and managers of new affordable housing for rent in Scotland. Housing Associations own and manage around 40% of the country’s affordable rented housing stock, over a quarter of a million homes across Scotland.
3. Housing associations and co-operatives are not-for-profit bodies regulated by the Scottish Housing Regulator.