Page last updated at 01:12 GMT, Sunday, 13 December 2009

Extra 24m funding to build homes to rent

Houses on new estate
The government said it was trying to reverse a decline in council housing

A further £24m to build new homes for rent is to be allocated to local authorities in Scotland.

The Scottish government is to outline the funding which it said would provide an extra 954 homes.

Housing Minister Alex Neil said the cash would be shared between 20 councils, taking the total government allocation this year to almost £50m.

The SNP has already announced it plans to scrap the right to buy for all new council and social housing tenants.

Outlining the £24m funding, Mr Neil said: "I have been heartened by the manner in which local authorities across the country have worked with this government to reverse decades of decline in council house building."

Labour's housing spokeswoman Cathy Jamieson said: "Housing Minister Alex Neil's announcement of a further £24m to build homes for rent sounds positive, but it equates to less than a 10th of the money that the SNP plan to cut from next year's housing budget.

"The truth is that the SNP are responsible for creating a 'black hole' in the housing budget. Their plan to cut the housing programme by £260m in a recession is sheer madness."

Mr Neil added: "Over the period 2008-11, our investment in affordable housing will be exactly as we planned at the last Spending Review - a record £1.65bn.

"Independent academic evidence shows that expenditure on housing in Scotland is considerably greater as a proportion of our budget than is the case in England."

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