As George Osborne announced what he described as the biggest home building programme since the 1970s to help tackle the “growing crisis of home ownership” in England, Scottish builders have called for an equal commitment on housing north of the border.
Philip Hogg, chief executive of trade body Homes for Scotland (HFS), said, “Whilst we are still absorbing the detail of the Chancellor’s announcement, its sentiment is absolutely clear: to back those who aspire to buy their own home. And the fact of the matter is that, as the Scottish Government’s own research shows, this aspiration applies equally to the majority of Scots.
“Supporting this ambition by stimulating private sector construction will bring wide-ranging benefits, including boosting affordable housing delivery through the direct contribution our industry makes in this area via planning policy.
“The Chancellor has also maintained his commitment to the successful Help to Buy scheme to 2021 and introduced a new tailored version specifically for London. This is in marked contrast to the position here where the announced successor to the Scottish Government’s scheme faces budget reductions of up to 50% and will likely be less accessible to buyers. We further note the Chancellor’s intent to remove constraints to allow all sectors to play a role in affordable housing delivery as well as his support for SME home builders on planning and finance, something HFS has been in discussions with the Scottish Government on for many months.
“With Scotland facing the same challenges as elsewhere in the UK, we therefore call on the Scottish Government to broaden the balance of its approach to housing delivery and place equal emphasis on having enough homes of all tenures in the right places to meet the diverse housing needs and aspirations of all those living in Scotland.”