New research on housing need is hugely significant, says GWSF
The research, launched yesterday by Shelter Scotland, the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA) and CIH Scotland, is the first national estimate of housing need since the Bramley work for the Scottish Government in 2006. It aims to combine figures on newly forming households with the existing backlog of pent up housing need.
In advance of major decisions on the future Scottish budget, GWSF said the new report sends a critically important message to the Scottish Government.
Peter Howden, chair of GWSF, said: “GWSF very much welcomes this work. We have followed its progress keenly and firmly believe it is robust, balanced research which doesn’t in any way over-estimate levels of need. It’s particularly noteworthy that as a proportion of overall housing need, the requirement for affordable housing is much higher than previously estimated because of changes in the housing market and what people can now afford to pay.
“The Forum recognises the financial implications of meeting this level of housing need, not least given the added impact of the recent recommendations to raise the level of per unit subsidy for social and mid market rent. Innovative solutions will play their part of course, but in the end this is about the level of political priority which is given to provision which has massive benefits for health, education and the economy, and for tackling poverty in the fairer Scotland we all want to see.
“And as well as delivering the right numbers of new homes, the programme must protect and encourage quality and diversity of output. Alongside larger regional and national associations and councils, community based housing associations need to play a full part if we are to see development being made in the context of wider community regeneration.”