GE2015: SNP calls for 100,000 affordable UK homes per year
The SNP has called on the UK government to increase housing investment to enable 100,000 affordable homes to be built in the UK every year.
Party leaders and first minister Nicola Sturgeon said more capital investment from the UK government will not only help build more homes in Scotland – it will also support at least 6,500 jobs in the Scottish construction sector.
Ms Sturgeon said SNP MPs at Westminster will also seek investment in transport infrastructure – calling for Scotland to be connected to HS2 as a priority – and more rapid roll out of superfast broadband and 4G across Scotland to enable wider and more affordable internet access across the country.
She said: “Making sure more people have the opportunity to live in high quality, affordable housing is such an important part of making life better for many across Scotland.
“Continued austerity from Labour or the Tories will continue to harm the economy and prevent the investment in housing that the whole of the UK requires.
“In Scotland we have shown that investment in affordable housing can keep costs down, create jobs and importantly help people to live better lives.
“With 24,000 affordable homes built by this SNP government so far, we are on track to meet our target to build 30,000 by the end of this Scottish Parliament.
“SNP MPs at Westminster will push for a funding boost for affordable housing from the UK Government to help build more homes – in Scotland and across the UK.
“Specifically, we will call for the UK government to put in place a new target to build 100,000 affordable homes each and every year.
“This will help grow the Scottish house building industry supporting around 6,500 jobs, economic growth and much needed quality housing across the country - and will go help undo at least some of the damage of Westminster cuts to Scotland’s capital budget.”
With a number of housing announcements made by politicians over the last couple of days, trade body Homes for Scotland welcomed the shift in focus but cautioned that the only real way to tackle the housing crisis engulfing the whole of the UK is to build significantly more homes of all tenures.
Chief executive Philip Hogg said: “We are pleased to see housing being a high profile issue in the general election with acknowledgement by the different parties that action is required.
“Whether you are talking about housing for social/private rent or sale, the fundamental fact is that we need a lot more housing of all types to meet the country’s diverse needs.
“This is the only way to tackle the housing crisis which is impacting far too many of our young people and growing families.
“In Scotland, the scale of the problem is all too clear: it has been nearly two years since Audit Scotland highlighted the need for half a million new homes over the next 25 years yet less than 15,000 were built last year, representing a drop of 40 per cent in total housing production since 2007.”