SFHA responds to draft Scottish Budget 2014-15
Published by SFHA for Scottish Federation Of Housing Associations in Housing and also in Communities, Environment, Universal Credit
Responding to this afternoon’s draft Scottish Budget by Finance Minister John Swinney, Mary Taylor, Chief Executive of the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA) said:
“We are encouraged at the commitment to investment in affordable housing, of over £1.35bn over four years. We understand that times are difficult for public sector investment within the recent spending review settlement, but there is no more important capital investment than housing as the cornerstone of healthy successful lives in Scotland. Investing in affordable housing is itself a form of preventative spend, helping to prevent costly public interventions, particularly in promoting health, well being and independent living.
“Scottish housing associations and co-operatives play a significant part in delivering new social and affordable homes and we want the draft budget plans to reflect our major role in continuing to build good quality, sustainable, energy efficient homes for our citizens.”
“Regarding energy efficiency, while we are pleased that the home energy programming remains the same at £79 million, this needs to be an increased to at least £100 million if fuel poverty is to be ended and climate change targets met. With energy standards being introduced for housing associations which could prove expensive, it would help if the Scottish Government could support social landlords to achieve these.”
Ms Taylor continued:
"We recognise the Scottish Government’s efforts to mitigate the worst impacts of welfare reform and any help for people facing the ‘bedroom tax’ is welcome. Extra money will help some people for a short time, but it’s not a long term solution. We are greatly concerned about the difficulties many affected tenants are having regarding accessing Discretionary Housing Payments, so we hope this additional funding will provide increased access to this vital support in the interim.”
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1. The SFHA was established in 1976 and has around 119 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.