Monday, 30 March 2015

SFHA calls for release of public land

Public bodies in Scotland should give land to housing associations to help increase the availability of affordable homes, the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations has said.

The SFHA has published a paper on the possibility of finding land for affordable homes across the country. It was launched at the SFHA’s development conference in Dunblane on Friday (3 February).

Graham Harper, policy and strategy manager at the SFHA, said while financial resources are in short supply, maximum use must be made of whatever other resources exist.

‘Land accounts for up to £25,000 a unit of the cost of building a new affordable house,’ he said. ‘If the land is provided free or even cheaper than market rate, then it will be economically possible to build more units out of the same money.

‘While the SFHA will continue to emphasise to politicians of all parties the benefits of investing properly in affordable housing, we know public finances are stretched. One answer therefore, is to release land owned by local and national government, health boards and other public authorities.’

The Scottish Government has promised to build at least 6,000 affordable homes in Scotland each year of the parliament. There are around 140,000 people who need a socially rented home in Scotland.

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