The number of affordable homes built in Scotland has increased by a fifth in a year, while more than 80,000 have been completed since 2007.
Scotland’s chief statistician released figures showing 18,182 new houses were finished in the one-year period measured until June, an overall rise of 4%.
Of the total number of new builds, 8,767 are considered affordable, up 21% on the 7,271 completions in the previous year.
There were 5,340 social rented homes delivered, a yearly increase of 864 homes.
In the same period there were 19,903 new houses under construction, a decrease of 1,231 homes (6%) on the 20,534 starts in the previous year.
Private-led starts fell by 1,593 homes (11%), while local authority starts increased by 577 homes (48%), but housing association approvals decreased by 215 (4%).
Housing Minister Kevin Stewart said: “Making sure everyone has a safe, warm and affordable home is central to our drive for a fairer and more prosperous Scotland.
“That is why I am proud that this government has now delivered more than 80,000 affordable homes since 2007.
“This is a significant achievement – boosting the supply of affordable homes in communities right across the country.
“During the course of this Parliament we are investing more than £3 billion to deliver our target of at least 50,000 affordable, high-quality homes, including 35,000 homes for social rent.
“While we know this is an ambitious target, we have shown we can deliver on housing and we will continue to do so.”
Compared to England, approximately 50% more affordable homes and more than five times as many social rented properties have been built per head of population in Scotland since 2014.
Shelter Scotland director Graeme Brown said: “The programme to develop 35,000 new homes for social rent by 2021 is one of the most important projects on the Scottish Government’s agenda.
“The latest figures show that with half the time gone only 11,825 social homes have been completed to date.
“This leaves much of the target on the drawing board and means we will have to see an acceleration in building if the target is to be met.
“The more homes programme is a promise to Scotland that must not be broken.
“It represents the biggest investment in social housing since the 1970s and a chance to begin to restore the foundations of our housing safety net which has been badly damaged by decades of underinvestment.”
Source: Shropshire Star