The Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA) has criticised the Scottish government for not providing enough certainty to social housing providers after the current parliament ends in 2021.
Sally Thomas, chief executive of the SFHA, said more detailed post-2021 housing plans are “necessary for associations keen to start building more desperately needed affordable homes”.
Ms Thomas was responding to the Programme for Government, which was announced this week and sets out what actions the government will be taking over the coming year.
The programme places a strong emphasis on climate change and includes a commitment to ensure that all new homes use renewable or low-carbon heat from 2024.
The government also confirmed a series of measures to help tackle homelessness, including the announcement of a £1.5m Homelessness Prevention Fund to support the work of social landlords to prevent crisis points.
More than £63m has been allotted for Discretionary Housing Payments, which the government said is to help households sustain tenancies and “protect them from the impact of the UK government’s bedroom tax and other welfare cuts”.
A series of fire safety measures were also confirmed, including a commitment to “place more stringent fire safety provisions for external wall cladding systems”.
While Ms Thomas said she welcomed many of the government’s proposals, she criticised the document for not including more detailed information about what will happen after the current Affordable Housing Supply Programme ends in 2021.
The Affordable Housing Supply Programme was announced in 2015 with the aim of delivering 50,000 affordable homes in Scotland by its end.
Earlier this year Inside Housing reported that the SFHA was partnering with Shelter Scotland and the Chartered Institute of Housing to campaign for investment in social housing post-2021.
In a discussion paper published last year, the government said that the “current level of spend would be challenging to sustain” and that building a further 50,000 in the next parliament would cost £4bn.
Aileen Campbell, Communities cabinet secretary for Scotland, said: "Our record investment of £3.3bn over this parliament is keeping us on track to deliver our ambitious target of 50,000 affordable homes, and we are proud of our record on delivery of social housing.
"As part of our current engagement on our Housing to 2040 plans, we want to ensure supply across all tenures and build on our More Homes Scotland approach. We want to move away from parliamentary cycles and have a long term vision that everyone can support.
"Housing is a key component of Scotland’s infrastructure. We plan to publish a new Infrastructure Investment Plan and the Capital Spending Review by June 2020."
Update: at 11:24 on 10/09/2019 This article was updated to include a comment from Ms Campbell.