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In the current parliament, Scottish housing priorities have been firmly focussed on achieving a target of 50,000 new affordable homes, which includes 35,000 homes for social rent.
The government's laudable commitment to tackling the housing crisis has been matched by generous funding settlements. The recently agreed budget for 2019-20 included an announcement of £826 million for new affordable housing, an increase of £70 million on the current year.
To their credit, Scotland's housing associations and registered social landlords (RSLs) have mostly risen to the development challenge, while the Scottish Housing Regulator rightly sounds a note of caution on the need for developing RSLs to ensure they have the skills and experience successfully manage the development risk.
This is all well and good, but Scotland's passion for social and affordable homes shouldn't be the limit of parliamentarians? vision. Development by private housebuilders, including SME builders and community and self-build approaches, have an equally valid role in addressing the supply crisis.
The government wants in its future policy interventions in the decades beyond 2021 to take a ?whole housing system? approach, but this omits the vital role and contribution of mortgage lenders and private funders/investors.
UK Finance members in residential mortgage lending and commercial funding for Scotland's RSLs, make a huge contribution to delivering Scotland's housing and regeneration vision in ways that make a real difference to tangible outcomes and peoples? lives.
Alongside the contribution of SME builders and others, this needs to be recognised and valued by the Scottish government for the future - their current thinking on the policy levers it wants to use for the future is still at an early stage.
Hear more about this at our Scottish Mortgage Market Seminar, held in Edinburgh on 7 March. I?d encourage you to attend.
John Marr, Principal, Devolved Government and Social Housing, UK Finance
The seminar will explore the challenges and opportunities in the developing landscape of the Scottish housing and mortgage markets in 2019. The agenda is taking shape with topics covering regulatory interventions in the mortgage market; private housebuilding; private renting; and the current heritable securities (mortgages) project.