Propertymark outlines Budget calls to tackle housing emergency
Propertymark has laid out its proposals to the Scottish Government ahead of its 2024-25 Budget with calls for a focus on three key areas: create a fairer private rental sector, increase places and homes for people to live and help reduce energy bills in people’s homes.
In its pre-budget scrutiny, Propertymark has suggested proposals that include:
- Interest-free loans and grants to bring empty properties back into use - empty homes are a wasted resource and at a time when the housing market in Scotland is in the grip of unsustainably low levels of stock for sale and for rent, it makes no sense that there are thousands of homes sitting vacant.
- Decarbonising Scottish homes - if private rented sector landlords are going to achieve the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards by 2028 and homeowners by 2033, clarity, support and most importantly of all financial assistance will be essential.
- Reviewing property taxation - the Scottish Government should investigate the impact taxation policy has on landlords and the supply of PRS property in Scotland.
- Avoiding rent controls - the Scottish Government must end the 3% rent cap and evictions moratorium on Scottish privately rented accommodation after March 2024 and avoid further long-term rent control measures.
- Build housing for older people and provide incentives to right size - the Scottish Government must do two things. Firstly, require local authorities to have a plan for retirement housing, including identifying appropriate sites and design specifications across a mix of housing tenures for older people to rent and buy. Secondly, promote the benefits of rightsizing and incentivise people to do so by offering an LBTT exemption for ‘last-time’ buyers looking to downsize.
Decisions on the Scottish Government’s spending plans for 2024-25 are subject to the outcome of the Scottish Budget process. The Scottish Government intends to present the Draft Budget 2024-25 to the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday 19 December 2023.
Timothy Douglas, head of policy and campaigns at Propertymark, said: “Propertymark and our member agents recognise the key challenges that the Scottish Government faces with continued constraints on public finances, challenges from the Covid, Brexit and the cost-of-living crisis. However, action is needed to address the housing emergency in Scotland and increase the number of places and homes for people to buy and rent as well as support the move towards decarbonisation and help reduce energy bills in people’s homes.”