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2 November 2007

Stevenson Welcomes Scottish Government's Commitment to Housing

Banff & Buchan MSP Stewart Stevenson has welcomed the Scottish Government’s commitment to end Scotland’s housing shortage by putting forward measures designed to increase access to housing in Scotland.

Commenting Mr. Stevenson said;

“I welcome the Scottish Government’s proposals to increase housing provision in Scotland. It is one of the most frequent issues raised with me by my constituents experiencing difficulties in finding suitable housing.

“It is all too often that my constituents in towns in Banff & Buchan simply cannot find accommodation which is suitable to their needs, and this is particularly so when considering the lack of available council housing.

“There is such a low turnover of council housing in the North East that people can wait for a number of years before getting a house. By focusing on building 35,000 new homes each year by 2015 this Government has put in place the most radical measures to combat the housing crisis in a generation.

“Scotland has come to the point where the escalating costs of purchasing a house are making it extremely difficult for people to get on the housing ladder. These proposals will make inroads into Scotland’s housing crisis and allow people to break into the private housing market.

“At the heart of the Government’s moves is the need to balance a thriving private housing sector, by providing assistance for those who want to buy their own homes, and the need for a social housing sector which is fulfilling its role satisfactorily and providing a steady turnover of housing.

“The reforms put forward this week are a huge step forward which will no doubt benefit people in Banff & Buchan and across Scotland for generations to come.”


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Notes:

Communities, councils, social landlords, developers, tenants and lenders are being invited to comment on the housing proposals put forward by the Scottish Government, which include:

• Challenging Scotland's local authorities, developers and builders to increase the rate of new housing supply in Scotland to at least 35,000 a year by the middle of the next decade

• Increasing the role of local authorities as landlords by offering financial incentives to councils that have the capacity to fund new council housing

• Ending the Right to Buy on new social housing built by councils and housing associations

• Establishing a Scottish Sustainable Communities Initiative to encourage local authorities and their partners to bring forward proposals for sustainable new settlements to meet demand in particular areas
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