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Council house boom helping construction sector

15/07/2012

Scotland is building five times as many council houses than the UK Government, official statistics reveal.

Last year, council housing building amounted to 19.4 homes per 100,000 population compared with 3.5 homes per 100,000 in England.

In the last five years in Scotland, the new build social housing completions rate per 100,000 population over the period 2007-2012 was 510.9, compared with the equivalent comparison for England being 254.6.

The Scottish Government estimates that its £730 million housing investment budget for the three-year period 2012-13 to 2014-15 could generate around £3 billion of economic activity and support up to 8,000 jobs each year, directly and indirectly, across the Scottish economy.

The recent UK Housing Review highlighted that housing expenditure, as a share of total government expenditure, has consistently been higher in Scotland than for the UK as a whole - their latest figure being 3.5 per cent in Scotland compared to 2.5 per cent for the UK.

Speaking ahead of a visit tomorrow (Monday) to Scotland’s largest construction development, which is earmarked for West Lothian, Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure and Capital Investment Alex Neil said:

"Unlike Westminster, as these figures prove, we are not turning our back on social rented housing.

"We have made it a priority to support our construction sector by investing heavily in housing, helping to create jobs and stimulate economic growth.

"At least two thirds of the 30,000 affordable homes delivered during this Parliament will be for social rent. In the last year we have delivered over 6,800 affordable homes, far in excess of our target of 6,000 each year.

"In the last three years, we have subsidised completion of 1,658 new council homes. This has generated an estimated £340m of economic activity, and on average supported an estimated 830 jobs each year, directly and indirectly, across the Scottish economy."

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