Dumbarton’s MSP has hit out at the Scottish Government after news emerged plans to regenerate Bellsmyre’s housing stock face significant delay.

Jackie Baillie blasted the SNP administration for “moving the goalposts” over promised funding, resulting in delays to the delivery of new-build housing on the estate.

The deputy Scottish Labour leader claims the SNP Government encouraged Caledonia Housing Association, which runs much of Bellsmyre’s housing portfolio, to apply for funding for high-spec housing, then backed off, causing delays in planned programmes.

And the MSP believes the 6,000 people in West Dunbartonshire waiting for homes to be allocated will be fearing for the future.

Ms Baillie said: “The delays facing Caledonia Housing Association’s planned regeneration, which had been thoroughly discussed with the Scottish Government, are purely down to the SNP’s decision to cut spending on building affordable homes.

“We are facing a stark housing crisis across the country and the social housing sector in West Dunbartonshire is in a perilous state.

“Additional demands have been placed on available housing stock due, in part, to the changing health needs of residents and soaring demand, created due to the cost-of-living crisis, mortgage payment hikes and a lack of delivery of sufficient new homes.

“Now is not the time for the Scottish Government, who have already forced councils to cut services due to their budget allocations, to backpedal on their commitment to creating more affordable homes in a time of crisis.

“They have moved the goalposts and ensured delays in the delivery of much-needed new homes in Dumbarton.”

The move, which comes amidst a stark crisis in the affordable rented housing sector, means those desperate for new homes will face delays.

The SNP Government’s previous commitment to funding the new-build affordable rented housing sector is being called into question after their 2024/25 budget was presented to the Scottish Parliament for scrutiny.

The document revealed a planned £200 million cut in the Affordable Housing Supply Programme, which funds the affordable homes programme.

The Scottish Government committed to working with partners, to deliver 110,000 affordable homes by 2032. Of this total, 70 per cent (77,000) were earmarked for the social rented housing sector and 10 per cent in remote rural and island communities.

Plans have now been unveiled, allocating £556 million to the programme in 2024-25 - a cut of £196 million in cash terms (-26%) or a real terms cut of £205 million (27 per cent) compared to the 2023-24 budget.

However, the Scottish Government defended the move, highlighting the amount of homes they have built since they came to power 17 years ago.

Housing Minister Paul McLennan said: “The Scottish Government has led the UK in housing by delivering approximately 130,000 affordable homes since 2007, over 89,000 of which were for social rent, including almost 24,000 council homes.

“We will invest £556 million in 2024-25 on affordable housing to increase the delivery of more affordable homes, the majority of which will be for social rent, including supporting acquisitions of existing properties.

“However, the UK Government failed to inflation-proof their capital budget, and this has resulted in nearly 10 per cent in real terms cut in our UK capital funding between 2023-24 and 2027-28.

“This is on top of the disastrous impact Brexit has had on construction supply chain issues, labour shortages and the inflationary pressures driven by UK Government financial mismanagement.

“We remain focused on delivering 110,000 affordable homes by 2032 and to support that we will bring forward the review scheduled for 2026-27 to 2024, which will concentrate on deliverability.

“In addition, we are accelerating work with the financial community in Scotland, and elsewhere, to boost private sector investment and help deliver more homes.”

Three Scots councils, including Glasgow City and Argyll & Bute, have already declared a housing emergency, as demand for properties soars.