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Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 4th December 2013.

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Photo of Margaret Burgess Margaret Burgess Scottish National Party

We cannot get away from the facts. I will give members the facts. Some 4,117 new council houses have been built by the SNP Administration—the previous Labour-Liberal Administration built six in its last four years—and 26,781 housing association houses have been built, which is 15 per cent more than the previous Administration built. The Scottish Government and I are committed to delivering at least 30,000 affordable homes, at least 20,000 of which would be for social rent.

We are making good progress. By September, we had already delivered more than 16,000 affordable homes, nearly 12,000 of which were for social rent. That means that we are already over halfway to meeting our 20,000 target for homes for social rent.

To ensure that we remain on track, I took the lead on confronting the issue of funding for social housing developments. I recognised that councils and housing associations faced many pressures on their finances, and set up a working group with housing stakeholders, listened to their concerns and took decisive action by increasing all social housing benchmarks by £16,000 per unit.