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More than 25 advocacy, support and housing organisations have come together to petition the cabinet secretary for finance Kate Forbes, asking her to prioritise social and affordable homes in this week’s Budget.
The alliance includes Shelter Scotland, the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations, the Chartered Institute of Housing, Citizens Advice Scotland, Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland (the ALLIANCE), Scottish Women’s Aid, Energy Action Scotland and other housing associations, tenants’ organisations and charities.
In a joint letter to the cabinet secretary, the alliance urges the Government to “reduce affordable housing need by committing to a new and ambitious social and affordable housebuilding programme” and reveals that: “Evidence from independent academics show this will require minimum of 53,000 affordable homes, including at least 37,100 for social rent between 2021-2026.”
The letter also states: “The quality of homes and communities impact directly on our health, happiness and wellbeing. Investing in the social and affordable homes Scotland needs has been shown to reduce child poverty by keeping housing costs low; improve our mental and physical wellbeing by providing people secure, quality homes from which to build their lives; and help meet ambitious climate change targets.”
Callum Chomczuk, national director of CIH Scotland, said: “One of the only positives to come from this crisis has been the ability of our political leaders to think differently and take radical action.
“So as the vaccine is rolled out and we look towards opening up in the spring and summer, we can’t go back to business as usual. We need to use our experience to build an even more ambitious plan for affordable housing at the heart of Scotland’s economic and social recovery.
“This week’s budget isn’t the time for timidity. We can choose to end homelessness, to end poverty in this country, and give everyone the right foundation for a safe, secure life. This all starts by funding the 53,000 affordable homes the country needs.”
You can read the full letter on the Scottish Housing News website.