Scotland will see 100,000 affordable new homes built in the next decade if the SNP is re-elected to power in May, Nicola Sturgeon has pledged.
The First Minister hailed the commitment – which includes the construction of 70,000 council and housing association properties – as a “down payment on Scotland’s economic recovery” from Covid-19.
The housebuilding promise will be backed up with £3.4 billion of investment in the next parliamentary term, the SNP leader said, and it will create as many as 14,000 jobs a year.
Ms Sturgeon said the scheme will be a “huge investment in jobs, in homes and in better communities”.
She announced details of the policy in a video address to local government leaders at a Cosla event.
Ms Sturgeon said that since the SNP was elected to power in 2007, almost 100,000 affordable new homes have been built across Scotland.
She added that “ramping up” this work is central to the party’s plans for the coming 10 years.
The SNP also plans to introduce a new, single standard for housing, she said, to help ensure new properties are more energy efficient, spacious and of a higher quality.
Ms Sturgeon told the conference: “In partnership with councils and social landlords, we have delivered nearly 100,000 affordable homes in our time in office – and if the SNP is re-elected, ramping up this ambition will be central to our plans.
“We will deliver a further 100,000 affordable homes over the next decade – with at least 70% of these being for social rent.
“We’ll back this major ambitious programme with £3.4 billion investment in the next parliamentary term. This target overall would support about £16 billion in total investment and up to 14,000 jobs a year.
“Housing has been a priority for the SNP Government since we were first elected – and if we are re-elected it will remain firmly at the top of the agenda.”
Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar said: “The Scottish Government promised 50,000 new homes in the last Parliament, they didn’t deliver on those 50,000 new homes.
“It’s pretty easy for a First Minister who has been in power for seven years to say a big number and give an indication of what she wants to achieve in the next decade.
“Actually right now there are over 100,000 people not getting access to NHS care that they need, that is what she should be focusing on today and delivering on in the here and now, rather than just shouting out a big number and giving out a target for 10 years from now.”