New council house numbers soar
2,244 council houses were started in the two years to September 2011 compared with 1,378 in the previous 13 years, official figures confirmed today.
The Scottish Government has now allocated almost £115 million to local authorities across Scotland, which will help deliver over 4,400 new council homes.
Overall, the Scottish Government is using the Innovation and Investment Fund to lever in investment worth £400 million for new affordable housing.
This is designed to address challenges, such as total new housing supply starts decreasing by 14% in the year to end June 2011, from 15,420 to 13,269 units, largely driven by a decrease in private activity.
Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure and Capital Investment, Alex Neil said:
"There is no question that Scotland's housing system faces major challenges.
"These figures illustrate that the economic downturn continues to have a significant negative impact on house-building activity, with both starts and completions still well below their pre-credit crunch level.
"We are doing all that we can to support the industry and boost supply in response through the Innovation and Investment Fund, which delivers a total funding package of more than £400 million, the innovative National Housing Trust initiative and a £10 million House Building Infrastructure Loan Fund.
"Local authorities are doing their bit to increase the supply of affordable homes and stimulate the economy. I am pleased that large numbers of council houses are being built across Scotland backed by over £115 million from the Scottish Government."