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Last Updated: Sunday, 21 October 2007, 23:07 GMT 00:07 UK
Call for 750m housing investment
A row of houses
Housing groups say many more affordable homes are needed
A coalition of leading housing organisations has warned that investment of 750m is urgently needed to create more affordable homes.

They have told the Scottish Government that a "business as usual" spending settlement will not tackle Scotland's growing housing crisis.

Shelter Scotland and the Chartered Institute of Housing in Scotland (CIH) are among those calling for more cash.

The Scottish Government said it took a proactive approach to housing.

Shelter Scotland, the CIH, the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA) and the Scottish Council for Single Homeless (SCSH) challenged the Scottish Government to tackle the housing issue.

The Association of Local Authority Chief Housing Officers (ALACHO) also joined the call for a cash boost for housing.

Housing policy and spending have been poor relations in the past 20 years and this has left a massive backlog
Archie Stoddart
Shelter Scotland

The organisations said the extra cash was needed to bring balance to Scotland's housing market and cut long waiting lists.

The Scottish Government plans to publish the Comprehensive Spending Review details in mid-November, when it will allocate almost 90bn over the next three years.

Archie Stoddart, director of Shelter Scotland, said: "Housing policy and spending have been poor relations in the past 20 years and this has left a massive backlog.

"It is no longer enough for housing expenditure to wait its turn in the queue when the budget is decided.

"Investment in 30,000 affordable rented homes must be a top priority for the SNP in its first budget."

Stewart Maxwell, minister for communities and sport, said: "The Housing Supply Task Force, which has a remit to examine factors currently preventing new homes being built and identify practical solutions, has already had its first meeting and is due to meet again this week.

'Easy answers'

"And we will soon launch our wide-ranging housing consultation paper, which will seek the views of all interested parties as we move forward.

"With a tight spending review likely, it is clear that there won't be easy answers - no government can simply turn on housing supply like a tap.

"But I think with the right will on the part of all the relevant partners - including local authorities, housing providers and the construction industry - it will be possible to make more housing, of all types, a reality."

Alan Ferguson, director of the CIH, said: "The Scottish Parliament has shown it takes housing seriously but we need to see a financial commitment.

"Housing is central to health, education, the environment and a thriving economy. Now is the time to deliver the housing that Scotland needs."

Jacqui Watt, chief executive of the SFHA, said that ministers must pledge finances and develop the supporting structures needed to deliver more affordable homes.

SEE ALSO
Highland housing shortage warning
15 Aug 07 |  Highlands and Islands
Affordable houses campaign builds
20 Jun 07 |  Edinburgh, East and Fife
Call for increase in rented homes
13 Jun 07 |  Scotland
Housing 'should be top of agenda'
27 Mar 07 |  Scotland
Extra 7m home help for Highlands
04 Dec 06 |  Highlands and Islands

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