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Written by Claire Munro Tuesday, 13 December 2011 13:59Commenting on a statement today (Tuesday 12th December) from Housing Minister Keith Brown.... following a visit to three housing associations, that "Capital investment in housing is essential to the social and economic well being of the country," (1) Dr Mary Taylor, CEO of the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA) said:
"I welcome the Minister's recognition of the economic and social importance of affordable housing to Scotland after a visit to three housing association developments today.
"The SFHA has been making these arguments consistently. Not only will building new affordable housing meet the need of the 335,000 households on waiting lists (2), it is also one of the best ways of stimulating the economy (3). We should also remember that housing associations and co-operatives have outstanding development capacity and also have the ability to enhance government investment with private finance."
Dr Taylor added:
"I would ask the Minister to reconsider the 30% cut that is planned to the 2012-13 affordable housing budget and to look again at the long-term viability of future grant levels."
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1) Scottish Government press release available here http://www.scotland.gov.uk/News/Releases/2011/12/13104253
2) Statistics supplied to SFHA by the Scottish Housing Regulator (5 July 2011) based on data in the 2009-10 Annual Performance and Statistical Return
3) According to research for the Scottish Government last year, investing in affordable housing is an effective way to boost jobs and stimulate the economy. Monk, S, Tang, C and Whitehead C (2010), What does the literature tell us about the social and economic impact of housing?, Scottish Government. Chapter 2. Available at http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Resource/Doc/1125/0099401.doc
4) The overall amount of funding available for new investment in housing has been cut by over 30% and subsidy levels were cut for 2011-12 by around 48%. According to the 2012-15 Draft Scottish Budget, this is set to be cut further; by nearly 50% in the first two years. Scottish Spending Review 2011 and Draft Budget 2012-13 http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Resource/Doc/358356/0121130.pdf
5) The SFHA was established in 1975 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.
6) 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.
7) Housing associations and co-operatives are not-for-profit bodies regulated by the Scottish Housing Regulator.
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