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Housing

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

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Photo of James Kelly James Kelly Labour

The debate has been interesting. It has also been timely, because the housing situation has deteriorated since the Labour Party lodged its motion on Monday afternoon. Yesterday’s housing statistics showed 13,378 completions, which is down significantly on the previous figure of 14,881 completions.

That shows the scale of the problem, compounded by the fact that 155,000 people are on waiting lists, which is a 32,000 increase since 2007. If we continue at this rate, we will be 160,000 homes short of the number that we require by 2030. It is therefore not a surprise that Homes for Scotland has described this as the biggest housing crisis since world war two and the SFHA has expressed real concern about the downward trend in housing association completions. The latest statistics show a 24 per cent decrease in those completions.

A lot of those issues were highlighted in Audit Scotland’s July report on housing. Audit Scotland concluded in that report that what was needed was

“effective leadership and a long-term, coordinated response.”

Listening to the minister, I see that accountability to Parliament is not part of that response.