Earlier this year the Scottish Government set out its first long-term housing strategy with ambitious plans to build 100,000 affordable homes over the next two decades.
A laudable ambition given the acute shortage of properties in Edinburgh, which continues to influence the ever-increasing price growth.
The document, Housing to 2040, included proposals to decarbonise central heating and to create a new fund to put empty homes back on the market.
Ministers aim to ensure that everyone ‘will have a safe, high-quality home that is affordable and meets their needs in the place they want to be’ by 2040.
Its message is that new housing should be located where it helps create safer, stronger, attractive, sustainable, and integrated communities.
The Help to Buy scheme will be ditched and replaced with assistance for renovation, adaptation, or improvement of existing homes.
While energy efficiency, affordable housing and measures to address homelessness are rightly given their place, less consideration appears to have been given to setting a clear target or aim for mainstream housebuilding.
Specifically, the document fails to explain how developers will be incentivised to build the 25,000 private sector homes every year which industry bodies, including Homes for Scotland, argue will be required to meet demand.
As part of the Scottish Government agenda housebuilders will be restricted to sites that help strengthen communities and/or attract employment opportunities to particular areas.
The new Housing Standard and the drive to zero emissions, affordable warmth and flexible living will apply to all developments, increasing construction costs and requiring housebuilders to source more efficient, green energy products and modern construction methods.
While the Scottish Government should be applauded for its ambition and progressiveness, the detail of how its targets will be achieved remain largely unexplained.
Collaboration between private and public sectors is key to ensuring that the vision of Housing to 2040 is met.
It is essential that developers seize the opportunity to engage as key stakeholders, otherwise the road ahead could be littered with potholes.
For more information on selling your home please call Purdie & Co on 0131 346 7240 or visit www.purdiesolicitors.co.uk