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  • Writer's pictureKenneth Gibson MSP

Over Two Thirds of English Housebuilding Fund Unspent after Six Years

The UK Tory Government’s £4,200 million Housing Infrastructure Fund, created in 2017 to jump-start housebuilding by providing local authorities with grants for key infrastructure such as transport and utility connections.

However, the Financial Times reported that just £1,300 million — or about 31 % — has been spent to date, according to a Freedom of Information request.

The UK Government also confirmed that work had begun on fewer than one in 10 of the promised homes, and that it had downgraded its delivery target through the fund from 340,000 to 270,000 homes, after a number of schemes withdrew or had funding pulled.

England faces a chronic housing shortage and is far behind on a UK Government target to build 300,000 homes a year, with 232,820 new dwellings added last year.

In stark contrast, in Scotland, since 2007, the SNP Government has worked with partners to deliver nearly 124,000 homes, more than 87,000 of which were for social rent.

Proportionately, over the last 17 years, the SNP Government has built 14.2 homes per 10,000 people compared to 9.7 per 10,000 in England and 8.2 in Wales, under Labour.

There has been a total of 15,765 affordable homes completed between 23 March 2022 and 30 September 2023 towards the Scottish Government’s target of 110,000 affordable homes by 2032, consisting of 12,188 (77%) homes for social rent, 1,917 (12%) for affordable rent, and 1,660 (11%) for affordable home ownership.

The SNP Government is making £3.5 billion available in this parliamentary session for the delivery of more affordable and social homes, a target made increasingly difficult by a £484 million cut to Scotland’s capital budget, imposed by the Tories at a time of high construction inflation.


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