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Boost to house building could create 40,000 jobs in Scotland

Words: Laura Edgar

Homes for Scotland are calling on the next Scottish Government to “manage a return” to pre-recession levels of building, which could create 40,000 Scottish jobs by the end of the next Parliament.

The announcement follows a report by the Home Builders Federation, in which it said more than 100,000 jobs were created in England due to the increase in house building. 

A report by Homes for Scotland – The Economic and Social Benefits of Home Building in Scotland (pdf) – suggests that by the end of the next Scottish Parliament 40,000 new jobs could be generated if house building levels returned to pre-recession levels.

Philip Hogg, chief executive of the trade body, said the HBF’s figures underline the “positive impact” which comes from building much-needed homes.

Research, he said, has shown that the benefits of home building go further than employment and contribution to the economy.

“Ensuring we have enough homes to properly house Scotland’s growing population also means improving access to fit-for-purpose and energy-efficient homes as well as supporting better health and education outcomes.”

However, Hogg said house building levels are still 40 per cent lower than in 2007 which “exacerbates the housing pressures that are particularly affecting our young people and growing families, and which, unfortunately, show no sign of abating”.

Therefore, in its manifesto, released ahead of the Scottish elections in May, Homes for Scotland is calling on the next Scottish Government to “manage a return to at least pre-recession levels of building”.

According to Hogg, this would mean the delivery of at least 100,000 new homes by the end of the next parliamentary term based on an annual average growth rate of 10 per cent.

“We believe this is an ambitious but achievable target and have already set out to politicians of all parties the action which needs to be taken to make it happen.”

He emphasised that while providing new affordable homes will be key, it won’t address the housing crisis on its own.

“With the majority of Scots still aspiring to home ownership, a balanced housing policy which places equal emphasis on having enough homes of all tenures is vital.”

The Economic and Social Benefits of Home Building in Scotland can be found here. 

The Building enough Homes for Scotland election manifesto can be found here (pdf).

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