We want everyone in Scotland to live in high quality, energy efficient homes that are affordable and that meets their needs. We remain committed to delivering our target of 50,000 affordable homes of all tenures in communities right across Scotland and we are working closely with our delivery partners to ensure these are the right homes in the right places.

In September we published refreshed guidance for local authorities to support them to develop their local housing strategies, setting out the strategic vision and priorities for the future of housing and housing related services in their areas.

Our record housing investment of £3.3 billion over this Parliament is the single biggest investment in, and delivery of, affordable housing since devolution. This investment, will, on average, leverage economic output in the region of £1.4 billion per year, supporting around 10,000 to 12,000 jobs per year in the construction and related industries in Scotland.

We will continue to attract private investment through innovative financing approaches to wider housing supply and infrastructure provision, and through partnerships with public, commercial and non-profit sectors that marry commercial aims with government policy objectives.

In addition to ensuring that there are more affordable homes to meet Scotland’s needs, we have ambitious but deliverable plans to end homelessness, eradicate fuel poverty and improve the safety and quality of all our houses. By 2021 we will have allocated over £1 billion to energy efficiency improvements to existing homes, making them warmer and cheaper to heat. We will set out our policy prospectus in the Heat Decarbonisation Policy Statement in the summer.

We continue to fund the Construction Scotland Innovation Centre to help Scottish businesses develop and implement greener building solutions.

We have committed to plan together with stakeholders for how our homes and communities should look and feel by in 2040, and the options and choices to the get there.

Now is the time to reimagine our housing system and we want to work together with the whole of Scotland to create a shared vision for 2040. Housing is embedded in so much that we want to achieve. It has a vital role to play in meeting many of our aspirations, including eradicating child poverty and homelessness, ending fuel poverty, tackling the global climate emergency and promoting inclusive growth. We face a number of challenges which mean that business as usual is not an option. We need to think open-mindedly about how to take this forward and nothing is off the table.

A whole systems approach to housing needs to take account of all public sector housing-related costs and receipts, e.g. grant, loan, guarantee, taxation, benefits, receipts from equity share sales, and possible new sources of funding, such as land value capture. It brings more new and innovative forms of finance into the housing system and makes sure that public investment complements, rather than displaces, private investment.

Housing’s contribution to the economy is much wider and deeper than the obvious, but important, spend on construction and related employment. Other important economic benefits potentially include: improved labour market function as people can move home to access work; house price stability boosting productivity; home ownership as an aid to entrepreneurship; improved capability of housing to support home-working; reduced public sector costs arising from cold, damp or poorly adapted homes; space for children to study to improve educational attainment; tackling the global climate emergency through the jobs and investment required to retrofit energy efficiency measures and reducing the environmental (and financial) cost of building, using and travelling to our homes; and avoiding the retirement poverty trap for households renting long term.

We published a draft vision and principles in July 2019. We are consulting on outline policy options for housing to 2040 until 28 February 2020. The outputs from this round of consultation will help to inform our final vision for 2040 and a route map to get there, which we are aiming to publish summer this year. Find out more.