Three of Scotland’s leading housing and homelessness organisations have called on Holyrood to deliver 53,000 affordable homes over the next Scottish Parliament.
The Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA), Shelter Scotland, and the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) Scotland have released a new report into housing need in Scotland between 2021–2026.
The report finds that increasing affordable housing supply levels from the current target of 50,000 homes a year to 53,000 will help to address existing, as well as newly arising, need from 2021.
While the study was carried out before the pandemic, the effects of the coronavirus crisis mean that a commitment from all political parties to the new target is vital in order to help rebuild Scotland’s economy, create jobs and reinvigorate its communities.
The three organisations have also called on all political parties to commit to a capital investment programme of £3.4bn over five years, ensuring that affordable housing is at the heart of social justice and child poverty programmes and Scotland’s recovery from coronavirus.
‘One of main positives to come from this crisis has been the ability of our political leaders to think differently and take radical action,’ said the national director for CIH Scotland, Callum Chomczuk.
‘So, as the lock down ends, we can’t go back to business as usual. We need to use our experience to build back better, with an ambitious plan for affordable housing at the heart of Scotland’s economic and social recovery.
‘This isn’t the time for timidity. Politicians, from all parties, must think differently and recognise that we can choose to end homelessness, to end poverty in this country, and give everyone the right foundation for safe, secure life. This all starts by building the 53,000 affordable homes the country needs,’ added Mr Chomczuk.
SFHA chief executive Sally Thomas added: ‘Committing to this new target, and building affordable housing, must be at the heart of Scotland’s recovery as part of a government and public sector-led approach, ensuring everyone has the home they need and, at the same time, giving confidence to full-scale economic renewal.
‘A home has never been more important. This crisis has opened everyone’s eyes to the value of a safe, warm and affordable home. Housing associations and co-operatives will work with the Scottish Government to continue to provide the homes that are needed as the country recovers.’
The full report – Affordable Housing Need in Scotland Post 2021– is available to read here.
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