Statement on housing emergency action plan expected next week

Statement on housing emergency action plan expected next week

Housing minister Paul McLennan

Housing minister Paul McLennan has told Scottish Housing News that he intends to share details on an action plan to tackle Scotland’s housing emergency next week.

Speaking to Kieran Findlay and Jimmy Black for the Scottish Housing News Podcast, the minister said the statement had to wait until a Housing to 2040 strategy group meeting took place but that he intends to update the Scottish Parliament next week.

The Scottish Government declared a national housing emergency in May, and yesterday SHN shared the news of South Lanarkshire Council becoming the 8th local authority to declare its own housing emergency.

When asked what steps the Scottish Government has taken since its declaration, Mr McLennan said: “We will be making a statement next week on that.”

He added: “There was a request for a statement I think a week or two ago. We had the Housing 2040 Strategy Group meeting just on Friday. So I think it was important to listen to stakeholders around about that before making a statement without speaking to the major stakeholders. So we kind of agreed some principles broadly around about how can you build more homes? How can we make the most out of homes that we already have?

“So that’s dealing with empty homes and voids and issues such as that. And what can we do in terms of tackling homelessness? So we will be making a statement next week on that particular issue.”

The wide-ranging discussion, to be published on Monday, centred on measures in the proposed Housing Bill such as rent controls, homelessness and domestic abuse.

Mr McLennan also shared details of the first meeting of the Housing Investment Taskforce, which he described as one of many avenues the Scottish Government is looking to boost housebuilding.

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