New Homes for Scotland boss sets out plan of action for tackling housing crisis

Nicola Barclay
Nicola Barclay

Assuming the position of chief executive of home building industry body Homes for Scotland today, Nicola Barclay has set out the plan of action she has identified as necessary for tackling the country’s housing crisis which sees 160,000 on waiting lists and many others struggling to access the home of their choice.

Representing some 200 organisations together delivering 95 per cent of new homes built for sale as well as a significant proportion of affordable housing, top of Barclay’s list is the need for political recognition across all parties of the interconnections between sectors, whether social/private rent or for sale.

She said: “A narrow focus on just one type of housing will not meet Scotland’s diverse needs. Everyone’s housing journey is different so we must have a significant programme of all-tenure home building set at the highest level in government. That is why we have called for a return to pre-recession levels of construction of around 25,000 new homes per annum. This is a challenging target but we firmly believe it can be achieved by the end of the next Scottish Parliament if public and private sectors work together for this common purpose.

“But the success of this objective hinges on a number of factors, not least the importance of having a planning system which facilitates development and helps our members step up the production of much needed homes. There also needs to be a focus on the delivery of and funding mechanisms for supporting infrastructure such as transport links, school capacity and fibre-optic broadband.

“By working in partnership with local authorities and other key agencies/stakeholders to deliver the many thousands of homes that our country requires will help to ensure the future vitality and sustainability of local communities and also allow them to reap the rewards from the significant economic benefits which result.

“This will clearly take bold and decisive action as well as major investment but the social cost of not increasing production of homes of all types will be significantly higher.”

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