As well as building more homes, we need to bring Scotland’s empty homes back into use
Andy Wightman MSP, Housing spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, today (13 March) urged greater effort to bring empty homes back into use.
Scottish Ministers today confirmed that £590 million is being made available to increase the supply of affordable homes in Scotland over the coming year.
Green MSPs point out that given average property prices, this funding will only deliver 4,000 homes or 8 per cent of the government's target of 50,000 homes by 2021.
Andy Wightman, Housing spokesperson for the Scottish Greens and MSP for Lothian, said:
"As well as building more homes, we need to bring Scotland’s empty homes back into use as homelessness figures are rising across the country. Shelter Scotland report that there are 34,000 empty homes in the private sector that can be used to tackle the housing crisis.
"Coupled with that, there are issues with the overwhelming growth of the short term lets sector too. In Edinburgh alone, over 6,200 properties are rented out in this way, excluding people from taking up permanent tenancies in the city. Yet, this is not just an urban issue, as it also significantly blights the sustainability of our rural communities. We therefore need local councils and Scottish Ministers to do more to support efforts in this area.
"Our councils should also be empowered to take a much bolder approach to housing, buying land at existing use value so budgets go much further, and discouraging the speculative volume house building that does so much damage to our communities."