Housing stats ‘don’t address scale of crisis’

Nicola Barclay

SCOTLAND’S builders have warned the Scottish Government there is no room for complacency following the release of new figures showing a slight increase in the number of new homes completed in 2016-17.

The figures reportedly show a rise of 251 homes in comparison to the previous year, which trade body Homes for Scotland said amounted to just 1%.

Nicola Barclay, chief executive of Homes for Scotland, said, “Given the chronic undersupply of housing in Scotland, any form of increase is obviously welcome but closer scrutiny of the figures shows serious systemic issues which appear to be being downplayed.

“The fact of the matter is that an additional 251 new homes doesn’t even begin to address the scale of Scotland’s housing crisis, and whilst affordable housing starts might be up, private sector numbers are down by 9% at their lowest level in three years. This is extremely worrying, not just in terms of its impact on the majority of Scots who aspire to own their homes but also in terms of the consequences for jobs, investment and economic growth.

“Unless there is a considered look at the big picture, the inter-dependences between sectors fully recognised and a whole system approach adopted, there must be serious doubt about the achievability of any party’s housing targets.

“The Housing Minister states that he stands ready to discuss solutions to stimulate private sector growth. These latest figures underline that now is the time for action if we are to safeguard our country’s social well-being and future prosperity.”