Craig Sanderson: A response to the Scottish Conservatives housing waiting list figures
I refer to the article in Scottish Housing News on 8th August 2023.
The statistics are indeed damning.
But in the interests of balance, remember that it was a Conservative government which introduced Right to Buy, arguably the most significant contributor to the lack of good quality homes for social rent.
Half a million social homes have since been sold in Scotland alone (a good number of which are now in the PRS and realising a private profit).
Claims that an equivalent number of replacements could be built from the sales proceeds were absurd – the discounts meant that at least four sales were needed to fund one new home.
In 2016, the Scottish Government set a target of 35,000 new social housing completions within five years.
The current target is 70% of 110,000 between 2022 and 2032.
That means fewer than 7,000 new homes for social rent per year during the recent past and for the foreseeable future.
We’ll never get anywhere near replacing that ‘missing’ 500,000.
I would suggest that ALL political parties, local and national governments and housing professions have to accept and share responsibility for this shameful situation which has been developing in full view for at least six decades.
- Craig Sanderson is a former chief executive of Link Housing and a member of the Edinburgh Poverty Commission