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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-13326: Elaine Smith (Central Scotland)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 11 December 2017

To ask the Scottish Government what initiatives it plans in 2018-19 to increase affordable housing options in all categories for over-60s.

Answered by: Kevin Stewart 20 December 2017

The Scottish Government’s ‘Age, Home and Community Strategy’ was published jointly with COSLA in late 2011 and sets out a clear vision along with a number of outcomes to help realise the aspirations of enabling older people to live independently at home. The Strategy covers all types and tenures of housing and housing-related support for older people. A review of the first five years of the strategy was published on 30 October 2017, and a refreshed strategy will be forthcoming early next year.

A number of initiatives to increase affordable housing options are funded through the Scottish Government’s Affordable Housing Supply Programme. Over £756 million will be allocated for this purpose in 2018-19, which is a 28% increase of £166 million on the resources available in 2017-18.

Local authority Strategic Housing Investment Plans set out the strategic investment priorities for affordable housing over a five-year period. These Plans inform Scottish Government housing investment decisions, and outline the mechanisms which local authorities would wish to use from within the Affordable Housing Supply Programme in order to deliver their priorities across all tenures.

One such mechanism is the flexibility that exists within the grant subsidy regime to support higher cost, priority projects (which could include affordable housing options for people who are over 60). In addition another such mechanism gives priority access to enable applicants who are aged 60 or over to apply to the Scottish Government’s Open Market Shared Equity scheme and New Supply Shared Equity scheme where it can be demonstrated that their existing home is no longer suitable for their needs.