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Chamber and committees

Question ref. S5W-28177
Asked by: James Dornan, Glasgow Cathcart, Scottish National Party
Date lodged: 31 March 2020

Question

To ask the Scottish Government what impact COVID-19 will have on the delivery of (a) the 50,000 affordable homes target by the end of this parliamentary session, (b) fuel poverty targets and (c) energy efficiency measures.

Current status: Answered by Kevin Stewart on 3 April 2020


Answer

The impacts of COVID-19 and our response to managing the risks it presents are evolving daily.

With the impact of the ‘effective lock down’ there is clearly going to be a necessary pause in the delivery of affordable homes at what is a critical time in the target period when the final site starts were scheduled to proceed. Once normal activity has resumed we will be clearer about the full effect this will have on the timing of the delivery of these homes. However it is unlikely we will now meet the target by the end of March 2021. This is of course disappointing as we were on track to deliver on our 50,000 affordable homes commitment, but our priority now of course is the health and wellbeing of the Scottish people and keeping people safe.

Many of the households affected by fuel poverty are also most clinically vulnerable to COVID-19. Alongside the practical considerations relating to social distancing measures this has led us to a decision to pause work on our energy efficiency schemes during the outbreak. Resources are being prioritised to help enable people to heat their homes and to tackle emergencies, such as broken boiler systems. Unfortunately this will delay delivery of our energy efficiency programmes and other planned work. We are also delaying work to publish our Final Fuel Poverty Strategy to focus on providing the immediate support required by fuel poor households impacted by Covid-19 and ensuring that there can be a prompt re-start to our programmes when it is safe and feasible to do so.