Housing: Harvie urges Government to not lose sight of social housing need

Patrick Harvie commented today on new Government housing figures, highlighting concerns over dwindling social housing numbers.

The figures show that while there has been an increase in supply of new housing by 7% from the previous year, the steady decline in public sector housing supply has continued.

In 2014, there were 317,572 local authority dwellings in Scotland, resulting in a decrease of 588 from the previous year. Furthermore, sales of public authority dwellings rose by 26%.

Patrick Harvie, MSP and Co-Convenor of the Scottish Green Party, said:

“While schemes like Help to Buy open up home ownership to many people who previously didn’t have this opportunity, we should be clear about the limitations of such programmes. The latest figures show there is no end in sight for the destruction of social housing in Scotland.  Schemes to encourage buyers do nothing to ensure that those who are far off from being able to afford a mortgage have a place to call home.

“A rapidly increasing number of people have been pushed into the private rented sector because of a steady decline in the number of socially rented homes available.  This is of huge concern for all those who cannot afford to buy and for whom astronomically high rents in the private sector are simply unaffordable.

“The socially rented sector is vital to Scotland, and we cannot rely on market solutions alone to deliver decent housing for our society. While supply of new homes is a welcome development, the Scottish Government must not lose sight of the urgent need for good quality, secure socially rented homes.”