Alba Party Call for National House Building Company as Figures Show Poor Progress on New Homes
Figures released by Alba Party today show that across Scotland some council areas did not build a single affordable home last year
ALBA Party Depute leader Kenny MacAskill MP has called on the Scottish Government to establish a National Housebuilding Company as new figures show poor progress on the building of social and affordable housing.
Figures released by Alba Party today show that across Scotland some council areas did not build a single affordable home last year.
Alba Party’s Kenny MacAskill MP says that the current programme of the Scottish Government is not ambitious enough but “even on current projections there will be a complete postcode lottery in regards to where you will be able to secure an affordable home.”
The Alba Depute says that a new National House Building Company would “ focus minds, focus resources and focus Government of building the number of houses Scotland needs to ensure people don’t spend the rest of their lives on a waiting list.”
Last year not a single affordable home was built in Inverclyde, and only one affordable home was built in each of Clackmannanshire, South Ayrshire and West Dunbartonshire. Progress wasn’t much better in South Lanarkshire(2), Stirling (3) or Dundee (6).
People across Scotland also face a postcode lottery in regard to new social housing. Last year Glasgow built 737 of Scotland’s 8,073 new social houses but this accounts for only 9% of all Social Housing built in Scotland despite Glasgow City Council needing 910 social homes per year to meet its own five-year targets. It has failed to meet this target in any of the past three years.
The SNP-Green Scottish Government has a target to deliver 110,000 affordable homes by 2032, of which at least 70% will be for social rent and 10% will be in remote, rural and island communities.
The promise was made by former first minister Nicola Sturgeon ahead of the last Holyrood election.
However, research by Solace, the organisation that represents Scottish Council chief executives, estimates that at least 125,000 more homes are required right now to meet the current demand of 243,603 currently on the waiting list.
Data from the quarterly statistics on housebuilding and affordable housing supply published by Scotland’s Chief Statistician last week revealed that the number of affordable houses starting construction in the 2022/2023 financial year had fallen to 6,987, down from 8,227 in 2021/2022 and 12,039 in 2019/2020.
The number of affordable housing approvals also fell starkly, from 12,880 in 2020 to 7,820 in 2022 and 6,396 last year, a 50% drop in three years. It is the lowest annual figure since 2015.
Commenting Alba Party Depute leader Kenny MacAskill MP said:
“Alba Party’s plan to create a Scottish National Housing Company to invest in good quality, energy-efficient homes for social rent, is the right one. These can be delivered and will allow young people to stay in their community, and will address the unacceptable amount of people trapped on waiting lists in our towns and cities.
"Westminster have created an economic crisis and we need immediate intervention in Scotland to ensure we aren’t handcuffed to it. We need economic activity to expand quickly and we need to create jobs.
"There is no better way to do that than to build new houses and restore existing ones and we need to stop allowing big business acquire all the best sites so they can knock out another luxury development.
“The social sector needs to grow by at least 125,000 homes just to meet current demand. However, since 2022 just 18,583 affordable homes have been delivered and the supply of affordable housing has fallen 20% in three years.
“A new National House Building Company would focus minds, focus resources and focus Government of building the number of houses Scotland needs to ensure people don’t spend the rest of their lives on a waiting list."