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Former minister takes chair at homes body

Mather to push housing up political agenda

Jim MatherFormer Scottish Government Enterprise Minister Jim Mather is to be the next chairman of trade body Homes for Scotland and will lead moves to push housing up the political agenda.

He will take up his part-time role from May but will begin working for the HFS in March. The organisation represents 200 organisations in the new-build industry.

It is the latest move to strengthen its ranks following the appointment of former Cala Homes director Gerry More to help build investor interest in the private rented sector.

Speaking about Mr Mather’s new role, chief executive Philip Hogg said: “This is a strategic appointment intended to offer continuity and a fresh perspective as we look to move housing up the agendas of our politicians and ensure that we bring extra focus to the challenges our members face.

“Jim’s experience will prove invaluable in this regard, particularly in the crucial run-up to both the UK and Scottish parliamentary elections.”

Mr Mather said: “Given the wide-range of economic and societal benefits that are delivered by home building, it is hard to believe that Scotland has such a chronic undersupply of housing or to accept that current production levels are at their lowest level since 1947.

“All the more reason why we need to see concerted effort to tackle the tough challenges the industry still faces, particularly in relation to support for home buyers, effective land supply, skill shortages and in addressing the specific issues hampering smaller developments.

“The task of increasing the number of new homes built and thus ensuring that many more Scots have access to the range of quality housing options they deserve is huge. However, with the goodwill and shared goals of all the people and public and private organisations who would also legitimately benefit from a growing stock of quality homes, I am convinced it can be achieved.

 “And I look forward to having the chance to play my full part in that process.”

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