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06/10/2015

Scotland ‘needs 12,000 affordable homes’

Words: Laura Edgar
Housebuilding / iStock

Scotland requires double the level of affordable housing currently being delivered, according to a new report.

The report, Affordable Housing Need In Scotland, says tackling the country’s housing crisis requires at least 12,000 affordable homes to be built each year for the next five years.

Commissioned by Shelter Scotland, the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) Scotland, and the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA) the report lays out the scale, cost and reasons for what would be the “biggest house building programme in Scotland since the 1970s”. 

Compiled by an independent team from the Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research at Sheffield Hallam, the University of Sheffield and the University of St Andrews, the study puts the cost of the proposed housing programme at an average of at least £700 million each year over five years.

Shelter Scotland, the SFHA and CIH Scotland want all political parties to adopt ambitious targets for new affordable housing in their manifestos for next year’s Holyrood election campaigns.

Graeme Brown, director of Shelter Scotland, said the group is calling on all parties to acknowledge that there is a crisis and use the 12,000-home target as a benchmark for their objectives.

“Politics is about making choices and we have simply got to do more to reduce homelessness in Scotland. A house building programme on this scale would bring real hope of a home to the thousands of people in Scotland without a suitable affordable home and also be a major boost to jobs and the economy.”

Mary Taylor, chief executive of the SFHA, acknowledged the Scottish Government’s current target of 6,000 affordable homes to built every year over the next five years, and that it is on target to meet it, but she emphasised that this figure must be doubled.

“It is also of paramount importance that not only do we build more homes, but that the homes are of good quality. Increasing the amount of energy-efficient housing stock will help to reduce fuel poverty and improve the nation's health. 

"Housing is the foundation of a person's life and by acknowledging and tackling the housing crisis, there is an opportunity to improve the life chances of Scotland’s people, including some of the poorest and most vulnerable," she added.

The report is available from the policy library on the Shelter Scotland website.

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