Calming Brexit fears on housing

A Cumbernauld housing boss remains confident in the area’s social housing future despite widespread fears over the potential impact of Brexit.

Sanctuary Scotland director Pat Cahill

A poll by the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations showed significant concern about how Brexit could affect private sector investment and labour costs.

Pat Cahill, the director of Sanctuary Scotland, Cumbernauld’s biggest landlord, said: “Sanctuary is well-placed to manage whatever outcome results from the Brexit negotiations.

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“The merger of Sanctuary Cumbernauld with Sanctuary Scotland in 2016 made our housing operation more efficient and helps us to adapt to any changes in the business environment.

“Sanctuary is committed to improving Cumbernauld’s affordable housing stock while building many more high-quality new homes in the town.”

Concerns raised in the survey related to increased costs if the value of the pound fell in value. Funders of new social housing are reportedly nervous that Brexit could affect lending rates. Replacing EU funding supporting employability training and problems finding skilled workers for repairs and construction were also highlighted.

Sally Thomas, the SFHA’s chief executive, said: “Housing associations are keen to remind elected members, that no matter what the outcome, ensuring access to finance, materials and staff – at costs which allow them to develop – are vital.

“There remains a huge outstanding need for good-quality, social housing and, while housing providers are doing all they can as part of the current programme, ensuring investor interest in the long-term is vital if people are to get the homes they need.”