‘Bold decisions’ required to tackle Scotland’s housing shortfall

Jane Wood. Image credit: Chris Watt Photography

MORE than 200 stakeholders from across Scotland’s housebuilding sector will meet in Edinburgh today (November 15) to discuss how to meet the country’s housing needs.

The annual Homes for Scotland (HFS) conference comes less than two weeks since Edinburgh declared a housing emergency.

The aim of the discussion and debate is to ‘cut through the noise, ask the questions that really matter and explore the solutions that will make a difference’ in helping to address the undersupply of homes.

Speaking ahead of the event, HFS chief executive Jane Wood said, “With a shortfall of +114,000 homes accumulated since 2008 and Edinburgh now following Argyll & Bute in declaring a housing emergency, it has never been more important to consider how we meet Scotland’s housing needs. Housing is fundamental to how we function as a society but the stark reality is that we don’t have enough homes and this is affecting all sectors of our communities – from young to old and growing families.

“Frustratingly, we haven’t reached this situation overnight. There have been too many years, decades even, of underinvestment in housing together with a lack of real action to address well-documented barriers to increasing supply. But it feels to me now like we are at a tipping point. Bold decisions need to be made as this is a reality there is no longer any hiding from.

“It’s time to stop going round in circles. It’s time for a new social contract including government at all levels and society reflecting on the principles, policies, and agreements required to address the housing challenges faced by this nation. Above all, it’s time for urgency and pace.

“We want to work with policymakers of all political persuasions to find transformational solutions. Our members stand ready to play their full part in this so that this and future generations have access to the range and choice of homes they deserve, can afford and that meet their housing needs and aspirations.”