Housing policy

Wood in warning to ministers over rent freeze

Jane Wood: ‘Housing needs greater priority’ (pic: Terry Murden)

Jane Wood, newly-appointed chief executive of Homes For Scotland, has called on the Scottish government to give housing greater priority in policy making and to think carefully about the long term impact of recent rent freezes.

In her first interview since taking over at the industry organisation, Ms Wood said housing is often ‘lost’ among government portfolios and that it does not even have a firm commitment on the number of homes it wants to build.

Speaking to Daily Business she said that rising costs in the housing sector will impact on other policy areas, not least in health and wellbeing. Analysts calculate that poor housing costs the NHS £2.5bn.

She warns that the rent freeze will have a detrimental affect on the market and that rising costs will affect the provision of affordable housing.

INTERVIEW: Building hopes of a better deal for housing

One Comment to Wood in warning to ministers over rent freeze

  1. What’s better than rent control? A tax on vacant lots and unoccupied buildings. While rent control makes it less attractive to supply accommodation, a vacant-property tax makes it less attractive NOT to! Such a tax, although sometimes called a “vacancy tax”, is not limited to what real-estate agents call “vacancies” — that is, properties available for rent. It also applies to vacant lots and empty properties that are not on the rental market, and is designed to push them onto the market and get them tenanted.

    By the way, the desired *avoidance* of the vacant-property tax would initiate economic activity, expanding the bases of other taxes and allowing their rates to be reduced, so the rest of us—including landlords with tenants—would pay LESS tax!

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