Election: Scottish Conservatives pledge to build 60,000 affordable homes in five years

Election: Scottish Conservatives pledge to build 60,000 affordable homes in five years

Douglas Ross

Scottish Conservatives leader Douglas Ross has outlined the party’s housebuilding manifesto with plans to build 60,000 affordable homes, including 40,000 in the social rented sector, over the next parliament.

Under the proposals, the party said it would seek to build 25,000 homes of all tenures, including 8,000 socially rented homes, per year.

Mr Ross said the Conservatives would introduce a new Communities Bill to ensure new housing developments lead to increased funding for roads and schools.

He added: “The health crisis may soon be over but the economic crisis is looming.

“We have to break ground quickly and start rebuilding Scotland right away to avoid a jobs catastrophe.

“We are setting bold targets for the next Scottish Parliament to launch the biggest social housing drive since devolution began and to restore the construction sector to the housebuilding levels we saw pre-SNP and pre-financial crash.

“It won’t be easy but we need plans to rebuild Scotland that meet the scale of the economic challenge facing us.”

Mr Ross said: “Our proposals would forge a thriving construction sector, create tens of thousands of jobs and drive economic growth, so we can better support public services in the future.”

The announcement comes after the SNP also set out the largest home-building and investment programme since devolution with plans for 100,000 new homes in the next decade.

Home builders have welcomed the political ambition on housing shown by the two parties.

Homes for Scotland (HFS) chief executive Nicola Barclay said: “2021 is a significant year for those involved in the housing sector, with huge policy implications emerging for the ongoing delivery of the new homes of all tenures that Scotland needs. 

“HFS welcomes the Scottish Conservatives’ clear statement of intent to deliver 25,000 homes of all tenures each year. Home building is key to Scotland’s social and economic recovery from Covid-19 and, as called for in our own manifesto, we believe such an unequivocal target is fundamental to successful housing delivery outcomes, and that this should be embedded in decision-making across all portfolios and levels of government.

“Together with the SNP’s pledge to build 100,000 affordable homes over the next decade, which has also been reiterated by Nicola Sturgeon, it is great to see such ambition in housing at this election.”

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