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I thank the minister and put on record the thanks of communities in the Borders for the £1.5 million additional housing support to buy land for social housing there. Is she aware of statistics that the Bank of Scotland sent me over the summer showing that, in my constituency, the average property price is now nearly £139,000, which is an increase on the previous year of 44 per cent? Is she aware of the difficulty that that will cause younger people in particular who are trying to enter the housing market or secure social housing? Will she ensure that her department works with Communities Scotland and the lenders to see whether there are productive ways for us to address the issue?
Yes. I am grateful for the response from many organisations in the Borders to the extra resource of £1.5 million. I am sure that Jeremy Purvis will appreciate that that came out of his invitation to me to visit the Borders, where I saw at first hand some of the challenges that communities there face. I understand some of the particular issues around house price inflation that we have in Scotland, which is why we initiated our affordable housing review. I will ensure that the points that Jeremy Purvis made are factored appropriately into that review.
I do not think that I will be part of this love-in. Given that applications for social housing in the Scottish Borders rose from 582 last year to 817 this year, which is an increase of 40 per cent, will the minister consider—for the whole of Scotland,
Those kinds of issues are among the ones that we are considering in the review of affordable housing. The member will know that we are considering the modernisation of planning, into which those issues will factor.
Christine Grahame has not been part of the love-in, because I have not received terribly many questions from her on housing, particularly housing in the Borders. As you would expect, Presiding Officer, I have done some research for question time. I asked my officials to indicate how many questions I have had from Christine Grahame. The answer in my notes is: