Huge sector of people in Scotland ‘being overlooked’ on housing needs

Nicola Barclay

THE chief executive of trade body Homes for Scotland has told MSPs that too many people with housing needs are not being counted.

Nicola Barclay made the claim whilst giving evidence to the Scottish Parliament’s Local Government, Housing & Planning Committee as it scrutinises the draft National Planning Framework 4 (NPF4).

She said, “The national dataset on housing need takes a very limited view of what constitutes housing need, with only two very acute forms actually counted: homeless households in temporary accommodation and overcrowded households that include at least one concealed family.

“But there are many groups that are not included. For example, overcrowded households, say a family with two children, a boy and a girl, but only two bedrooms; they are not counted. Neither are single person households such as adults living together in a shared flat or a single adult returning to live with their parents.

“So there is a huge sector of the population that is being overlooked, they are not in the houses they want to be and are unable to live their lives to the full, starting relationships, having families etc because we are not counting them in the first place.”

Whilst draft NPF4 refers to the climate emergency and nature crisis, Barclay claimed the document disregarded the housing crisis, which she described as being of equal importance and ‘the third leg of the stool’.  She added, “The way NPF4 is drafted at the moment, housing will not be delivered to the people that need it and that is a fundamental concern.”