Builders want housing prioritised after budget increase

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Nicola Barclay

SCOTLAND’S housebuilders have called on the Scottish Government to use its increased capital budget to prioritise new homes.

The Scottish Government’s capital budget is to increase by more than £800 million through to 2020-21 as a result of the Autumn Statement. Trade body Homes for Scotland wants the same funding priority for housing to be given north of the border as was set out by the Chancellor for England.

Among the details outlined by the Chancellor for England was a £2.3 billion Housing Infrastructure Fund which will be used for projects such as roads and water connections that will support the construction of up to 100,000 new homes.  On top of that, £1.4 billion will provide 40,000 new affordable homes, including some for shared ownership and some for affordable rent. Another £1.7 billion will be used to speed up the construction of new homes on public sector land.

Nicola Barclay, chief executive of trade body Homes for Scotland said, “Nothing is more important to Scotland’s social wellbeing and economic success than ensuring we have enough homes to meet the needs and aspirations of our growing population. (The) focus on housing by the Chancellor not only recognises the importance of this but also generates a significant budget boost for the Scottish Government which we must see similarly prioritised towards home building, if this country is to thrive and grow.

“No other single industry has the potential to positively impact so many different policy areas. Whether it’s jobs, skills, health or education, building homes makes a hugely positive difference to the lives of all those living in Scotland. We therefore urge the Scottish Government to make the most of this additional money and attract further private sector investment by allocating it to a national all-tenure home building programme.”