My account

SWBG blog

Reaction to the Scottish Budget 2024/2025: Cuts to the Housing Portfolio

Our Engagement and Public Affairs Officer, Yve Barry, reflects on the recent cuts in the Scottish Budget 2024/25 Housing Portfolio and their gendered implications for women across the country. 

The Scottish Government previously stated that their “aim is for everyone to have a safe, high-quality home that is affordable and meets their needs in the place they want to be” (2021). In his recent Programme for Government, the First Minister stated that the Scottish Government is committed to delivering 110,000 affordable homes by 2032 (2023). The upcoming Housing Bill is also promised to deliver a New Deal for Tenants including longer-term rent controls and new duties in the prevention of homelessness. The 2024/25 Scottish Budget announced a month ago instead delivered cuts to the Housing Portfolio, leaving questions about the Government’s longer-term strategy amidst Scotland’s housing crisis. 

Housing Sector Reaction 

We, like many others, are encouraged by the announcement that the Scottish Government will be investing in discretionary housing payments. This investment supports the mitigation of the benefit cap and allows Local Authorities to provide support to qualifying individuals in housing crisis. Furthermore, increased investment in some energy efficiency schemes and continued support for Rapid Rehousing Transition Plans are welcome (CIH, 2023; Findlay, 2023). However, these are the only increased funds for our homes. 

There is now growing concern about the Scottish Government's promise to deliver an increased supply of affordable homes by 2032 and address inequality, poverty and homelessness. Government figures show a 30% cut in the Affordable Housing Supply Programme (AHSP) and a 33% overall cut in the More Homes budget, reflecting upon the wider budgetary pressures of the Scottish Government (Scottish Government 2023). The Fuel Insecurity Fund has also been scrapped, which was aimed at supporting social tenants with rising energy costs despite a 4% rise in the UK inflation rate in December (BBC News, 2024).

There has also been criticism that these cuts have come at the expense of the Scottish Government’s plan to freeze council tax that will not benefit those most in need (Findlay, 2023). We have continued to express our concerns about this decision as it will only exacerbate financial problems in Local Authorities and have an adverse impact on many, especially women who rely on public services more. You can read more here: Scottish Women's Budget Group | SWBG blog | Can we achieve equality, provide opportunity, and create community by freezing Council Tax? 

What do this mean for women and gender equality in Scotland? 

Core to the delivery of the First Minister’s Programme for Government and focus on equality is the investment in our homes. The provision of affordable housing has been directly tied to the Scottish Government’s National Outcome of addressing poverty, and child poverty specifically. However, the impact of decreased investment in AHSP will not only have an impact on child poverty targets but will also have a disproportionate effect on women due to the inextricable link between child poverty and women’s poverty. Within the housing system, women’s position is largely determined by lower income and wealth levels. Particular groups of women, including single parents and disabled women, are at greater risk of poverty and as a result, precarious housing situations. Overall, 28% of women in our Women’s Survey ‘23 were struggling to manage housing costs. This increased to 55% of women earning under £20,000, 45% for single parents, 37% for disabled women and 31% for single adult households (SWBG, 2023). One woman told us: “We need access to good quality affordable housing. Instead, we’ve been trapped in the private rental market and have to move about every two years. It’s very difficult to get accommodation as a lone parent as landlords want to see high earnings and don’t like tenants on benefits.” (SWBG, 2023). Our recommendations to the Scottish Government, informed by these women, included setting out the long-term vision and funding arrangement to facilitate the development of accessible, affordable social housing. However, with this devastating cut in budget allocation, inequalities in housing will continue to make it harder for women to access appropriate and affordable housing for them and those they care for. 


Housing is critical in targeting gender inequality, poverty rates, economic growth, and the climate emergency. However, the recent 2024/25 budget announcements were a missed opportunity for the Scottish Government to address the current housing crisis and work towards more equitable outcomes for those living in Scotland, leaving many, especially women, in the grip of rising costs, insecurity and poverty. 



BBC News. 2024. Tobacco and alcohol fuel surprise inflation rise. Last accessed 18/01/24: Tobacco and alcohol fuel surprise inflation rise - BBC News

Chartered Institute of Housing. 2023. CIH reaction to the draft Scottish Budget 2024 to 2025. Last accessed 18/01/24: CIH reaction to the draft Scottish Budget 2024 to 2025 | Chartered Institute of Housing

Findlay, Kieran. 2023. Budget: Sector hits out at ‘hammer-blow’ affordable housing cuts. Scottish Housing News. Last accessed 18/01/24: 

Scottish Government. 2021. Housing to 2040. Last accessed 18/01/24: 05 Next Steps - Housing to 2040 - ( 

Scottish Government. 2023. Scottish Budget 2024 to 2025. Last accessed 18/01/24:  Scottish Budget: 2024 to 2025 - (

Scottish Government. 2023. Social and affordable housing supply boost. Last accessed 18/01/24: Social and affordable housing supply boost - (

Scottish Women’s Budget Group. 2023. Women’s Survey 2023: Women’s experiences of housing and its cost. Last accessed 18/01/24: SWBG-Housing-Report.pdf

Mailing list

To join our email list, simply enter your email address below.