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Housing

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 4th December 2013.

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Photo of Margaret Burgess Margaret Burgess Scottish National Party

Clearly, there are people on waiting lists. Jim Hume mentioned 400,000. I said in my press release that 155,000 people were on waiting lists. Of course that is too many. Of course I do not like that. That is why I am out there looking at how we can reduce waiting lists. I understand that it is no consolation to any individual for us to say that homelessness is dropping or that waiting lists are falling. To any suggestion that I do not understand that I say: “Think again.” I do understand it, which is why I am out talking to people in those circumstances.

I have covered waiting lists so I will say a bit to Patrick Harvie. I had written in my notes that I had forgotten to say that the Green Party had a target in its manifesto. I accept that the Green Party had a target in its manifesto and a vision.

As Patrick Harvie has said, I recently launched the first private rented sector strategy since devolution. We laid out in it how we will regulate letting agents and how we will take the sector forward, because we know that it needs to grow. We have set up an independent sub-group, which is chaired by Professor Douglas Robertson, on security of tenure in private accommodation. After that group reports, if action needs to be taken, we will take it.

Patrick Harvie rose—

I said that I would not take interventions, but I will give way.