Housing data questioned

Homes group disputes SNP housing figures

housebuildingThe Scottish government’s claim to have a ‘strong record in delivering new homes’ was shot down by a housing body today which said the number completed had actually fallen.

Bob Doris, SNP convener of Holyrood’s local government and communities committee, said the government was “working hard” to ensure that Scotland has a housing stock able to meet the needs of our population.

His comments were backed up government figures showing the number of housing starts across the public and private sectors rose to 16,910 in 2015-16, the highest number since 2008-09.

The number of affordable homes approved over the year to June 2016 was up 26% on the previous year, bringing the total number of approvals over 2015-16 to 8,067.

But Homes for Scotland, the industry trade group, said the figures actually show a 2% decrease in the number of new homes completed in Scotland for 2015-16.

Karen Campbell, director of policy Homes for Scotland said: “On this important day of discussion on our country’s housing crisis, the Scottish Government has pointed to the ‘stability’ in new supply when figures actually show a decline.

“The simple fact is that whilst Scotland’s population has increased to its highest ever level, the supply of housing continues to lag ever further behind.

“This is hugely disappointing news for all those looking for a new home and will place further pressure on rents and house prices as demand continues to grow.

“We want to see a return to pre-recession levels of building around 25,000 new homes a year by the end of this parliament which requires a year-on-year increase of at least ten per cent. 

“We all have a valuable part to play in achieving this if we are to meet the diverse needs, aspirations and life journeys of all those living in Scotland.”

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