Affordable housing and vacant and derelict land action announced in draft budget statement

MORE than £700m has been earmarked for ‘affordable’ homes in Scotland – the Scottish Government finance secretary has announced.

Unveiling the Scottish Government Budget Statement 2021-22, Kate Forbes MSP also unveiled plans to give a boost to ‘green and low carbon’ initiatives and also to regenerate vacant and derelict land.

The statement is in draft form, pending approval from the Scottish Parliament, with its details partly contingent on the budget to be announced in March by the UK Government.

Presenting the statement to the Scottish Parliament, she said: “COVID has… underlined the value of a safe, secure and affordable home and our homes will also now be somewhere many of us work from.

“We’re providing more than £800 million for housing in the budget.

“Building on our  achievement of having delivered almost 97,000 affordable homes since 2007, I am allocating funding of more than £711 million to the Affordable Housing Supply Programme.  

“Capital investment will inject confidence, but it will also help to meet our statutory commitment to be a net zero society by 2045. Our carbon taxonomy shows nearly 37 per cent – or over £1.9 billion – of our capital investment is low carbon.”

Added Forbes: “And as we look to Glasgow hosting the COP26 [United Nations Climate Change Conference] summit in November [in Glasgow], we want to inspire global action and demonstrate that Scotland is a world leader in green and renewable technologies.

“The Programme for Government and our recent Climate Change Plan update together outlined a £2 billion Low Carbon Fund over the next Parliament – central to which is investment of almost £1.6 billion in heat and energy efficiency in our homes and buildings.

“Through the fund, we will also begin a five-year £50 million programme of investment to regenerate Scotland’s vacant and derelict land. That will help put abandoned land to use across our communities.

“This includes creating community gardens to nurture wellbeing, provide a local food supply and improve biodiversity – or creating space for community renewables projects, low-carbon affordable housing, urban farms, woodland and green spaces.”

Read the full statement, here, on the Scottish Government website.

Photo: Scottish Parliament building, Holyrood, Edinburgh