12,000 new social homes needed every year to tackle poverty and inequality, says Labour

Richard Leonard

Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard will visit Parkhead Housing Association today to announce his party’s pledge to build at least 12,000 homes for social rent a year.

The move would support almost 50,000 jobs in Scotland and form a fundamental part of Labour’s bid to tackle poverty and inequality, Mr Leonard will say.

According to the party, there has been a steady decline in the proportion of homes in Scotland available for social rent over the last 15 years, and there are at least 170,000 households on social housing waiting lists.

Labour said its proposals would roughly treble the amount of council and housing association homes being built each year - a move the party said is necessary to take the heat out of the private market and offer more choice to tenants.

Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard said: “A home should be a basic and fundamental human right. That’s why a Scottish Labour government would ensure access to a safe, secure, habitable, home by aiming to build at least 12,000 homes for social rent every year.

“Our society is deeply divided, with the richest one per cent in Scotland owning more personal wealth than the whole of the poorest fifty per cent. This is no time to tinker around the edges, not when so many people in Scotland are currently waiting for public housing.

“Scotland’s housing crisis is a key reason for deepening poverty in Scotland. People can’t access social homes so find themselves in the under regulated private rented sector. We have to address it urgently.

“When Labour was last in power we built 61,000 homes for social rent in Scotland – we desperately need that kind of ambition again. Only a Labour government offering real and radical change in our economy would do that.”

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