Social housing completions ‘up almost 20 per cent’ under SNP

More social sector homes for rent have been completed during the last seven years of the SNP government than over the same period under the former Labour-LibDem administration, according to new statistics.

Figures obtained by a Parliamentary Question answered by housing minister Margaret Burgess show that 28,988 homes for social rent were completed in the last seven years of the Labour-LibDem administration (2000-01 to 2006-07). In the last seven years of the SNP government 34,633 social rent homes have been completed – 19.5 per cent more than in the last seven years of the Labour-led executive.

The Scottish Government has pledged to deliver 30,000 affordable homes by the end of this Parliament and said back in June that it is on target to deliver with 26,972 affordable homes already built since 2011-12 (90 per cent of its target). This includes 18,670 homes for social rent – 93 per cent of the Scottish Government’s social rent target.

SNP MSP Mike MacKenzie, who received the figures, said the progress made towards the affordable homes target comes despite real terms cuts of 25 per cent to Scotland’s capital budget.

He added: “Housing is at the heart of our ambitions for a fairer, more equal Scotland and the Scottish Government is already on track to deliver 30,000 affordable homes by the end of this Parliament, including 20,000 homes for social rent.

“We understand that building more homes is not just a social good in itself but also creates jobs and boosts our economy.”

Tory cuts will force 1000 young vulnerable Scots onto the streets

George Osborne’s Budget could make 1000 young Scots homeless.

That was the grim warning yesterday from the charity Shelter Scotland, who are aghast at the “catastrophic” impact Tory cuts could have on our most vulnerable 18 to 21-year-olds.

Around 36,000 people are already assessed as homeless in Scotland, and Shelter fear that number will be swelled by Osborne’s plan to axe housing benefit for 18 to 21-year olds.

Graeme Brown, director of the homelessness charity, plans to ask the Scottish Government  to intervene to help the young people affected – as they did for victims of the bedroom tax.

He said: “Young people are particularly vulnerable to homelessness. They may have to leave home due to abuse or neglect, or have been in care. Every person has a different story.

“If they become homeless, they’re more likely to have a repeat episode of homelessness later in life.”

Brown said youngsters who lose housing benefit will have no hope of keeping expensive private rented homes, even if they’re training or looking for work.

He added: “The impact is going to be catastrophic. There are nearly 2900 young people on housing benefit. If just one in three were put in that difficulty then it’s absolutely possible 1000 will become homeless.”

Brown also fears the impact of the Tories’ £20,000 overall benefit cap, and the introduction of universal credit. And he says governments have failed for decades to build enough decent homes for the poor.

He said Scotland has 150,000 people on housing waiting lists – often for years – and 10,500, including 4000 children, in temporary accommodation.

Brown added: “There’s been decades of under-investment in housing and we’re paying the price.”

Shelter want the Scottish Government to agree to build 10,000 new social homes a year.

source: Daily Record