New SNP leader urged not to persist with existing housing policy in Scotland

David Alexander

THE chief executive of DJ Alexander Scotland, part of lettings and estate agency the Lomond Group, has urged new SNP leader Humza Yousaf ‘not to replicate the mistakes of the previous administration’.

David Alexander said the imminent election of Humza Yousaf as Scotland’s first minister is ‘concerning’ for the housing sector given that he stood as the continuity candidate.

“If he does persist with the existing housing policy of Nicola Sturgeon then I foresee some very difficult times for Scotland’s tenants,” David said. “The low numbers of social housing, the reluctance to support housebuilding, and the negative attitude toward the private rented sector have all resulted in fewer homes for Scots, rising rents, increased evictions for tenants, and a housing waiting list that numbers in the hundreds of thousands.

“I would welcome a positive approach from Mr Yousaf if he is not to replicate the mistakes of the previous administration. The concern is that he will continue to view housing as a political rather than a social issue and seek to demonise parts of the housing sector.

“A proper housing strategy requires planning over a ten or even 20-year period with target-lead proposals to ensure that planning regulations, land development, and financial incentives are developed to encourage the right homes in the right areas both to reflect the current and future needs of Scottish society.

“We need a long-term, fundamental rethink on the delivery of housing for homeowners, for tenants in the public and private sector, and in the way that new housing is delivered. Housing must be a major part of the new administrations’ plans. New social and private building developments with large scale infrastructure investment would produce jobs, create wealth, and provide homes for people who want to work and live in Scotland.”