8 October 2019

Scottish Labour will put forward a series of proposals to tackle Scotland's housing crisis later today.

The Commission set up by Scottish Labour has reported. Scottish Labour will put forward plans to put people before developers' profits, and put housing and in particular public sector led-development at the forefront of our country's politics.

Labour will end the crisis of undersupply, unaffordability and quality through increased investment, new legislation and a new government agency to drive housing supply across Scotland.

The Housing Commission's recommendations build on the transformative policies to tackle the housing crisis already affirmed by Scottish Labour at its conference in March this year. These include a ban on winter evictions akin to that in France, and a rent controls system as advocated by tenants' union Living Rent.

As part of the proposals, Labour will review minimum space and quality standards in new housing and reform the existing law to allow public interest-led bodies to acquire land at existing use-value.

A Scottish Labour government will increase the supply of affordable homes by 70% compared to the Government’s current commitment.

Recommendations also include a scheme to help under 35s purchase their first home, and a commitment to creating more wheelchair accessible homes across the country.

Chair of the Housing Commission, Professor Stuart Gulliver, said:

“This report identifies an ambitious programme of housing reform in the belief that there has been far too much conservatism in housing policy in recent years and that there is now a genuine hunger for transformational change.

“Our proposals are underpinned by a strong commitment to reduce the inequalities in the housing market, particularly for those on lower incomes, the young and disabled people.”

Scottish Labour’s Housing spokesperson, Pauline McNeill MSP, said:

“Scottish Labour is serious about having radical policies on housing at the next Holyrood election.

“Scotland is not yet out of the nation’s housing crisis. "We have a shortage of good affordable homes, but more importantly there is a lack of real choice for young and middle-aged people who are being denied home ownership and who are not a priority for social housing.

“Labour will offer a transformative agenda and this Commission’s proposals will be the basis of our policy.”
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