Welcome to my Blog

I was the Head of Policy and Public Affairs at UNISON Scotland until my retirement in September 2018. I now work on several policy development projects, so all views are very definitely my own. You can also follow me on Twitter. I hope you find this blog interesting and I would welcome your comments.

Thursday, 11 July 2013

It's about building more houses, stupid!

Scotland is simply not building enough houses to meet current and future levels of need. A report today from Audit Scotland confirms the analysis in UNISON Scotland's recent housing paper.

The number of new private homes built in Scotland has more than halved in  recent years and it could be more than 20 years before there are enough new homes to meet the projected increase in households in any one year. The picture is no better for council and RSL homes. Only 42,000 of the 56,000 council and RSL homes needed since 2005 were built, a shortfall of almost 14,000 homes. Between 2008/09 and 2011/12, Scottish Government revenue budgets for housing fell by 24% in real terms and capital budgets by 29%.

As always Audit Scotland do very good info graphics that illustrate the key facts.

They also highlight the benefit cuts which the UK government is driving through will have a disastrous impact on the registered social landlords – councils and housing associations – which should be providing more and better social housing to meet the shortfall.

You can over complicate housing policy. What we simply need is an expansion of public sector housing. In our recent document ‘Funding And Building The Homes Scotland Needs’ we have made innovative proposals for using pension funds to do this. Audit Scotland's report makes the case for the Scottish government to now take proposals like these on board. Social housing is the key to solving our housing crisis in Scotland.

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