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The quarterly housing statistic in Scotland have revealed that more affordable homes were approved last year, marking positive news for low income families and first time buyers.

The figures show that in 2016, there were 8,840 affordable homes approved, a 20% rise on the previous year which includes houses for both the social rental and home ownership market. This includes increases in social rent approvals (up by 12%, 624 homes), affordable rent approvals (up by 26%, 257 homes), and affordable home ownership approvals (up 41%, 567 homes).

Approvals for new build social properties were up 17% in 2016, to 5,101 properties.

Housing Minister, Kevin Stewart confirmed £70M funding for 2017/18 for the Scottish Government’s Open Market Shared Equity (OMSE) scheme, which helps first time buyers and priority groups buy a property. The funding will allow a further 1,700 people to buy a home.

Speaking at the Chartered Institute of Housing Scotland annual conference in Glasgow, Mr Stewart said: “Ensuring access to good quality and affordable housing is a key priority for the Scottish Government, therefore it is encouraging that 20% more properties were approved and started last year. As part of our efforts to increase affordable housing supply, we are determined to give targeted help to those seeking to move into home ownership. Over the past decade our OMSE scheme has helped more than 8,700 people on low to moderate incomes to buy a home. I am delighted that the 2017/18 scheme will welcome new applications from April. Alongside our commitment to deliver 50,000 more affordable homes over the next five years – with 35,000 available for social rent – this will all contribute to increasing the availability of affordable homes across Scotland.”

Source – UK Construction Online

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