SNP highlights Scotland has highest house building rate in UK (but far more homes still needed)

The Scottish First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, outlined the SNP's key policies yesterday at its manifesto launch.

Scottish Housing News highlights that "although the power over housing is devolved to the Scottish Parliament, the manifesto pledges to continue the SNP’s housing policy in Scotland, which has the highest house building rate in the UK, and continue the Rural Housing Fund."

The manifesto claims that since 2007, over 60,000 affordable homes have been completed. Further to this, it restates the commitment to invest over £3 billion to deliver at least 50,000 new affordable homes (at least 35,000 of which will be for social rent) over the current term of the Scottish Parliament (i.e. until May 2021).

The SNP says it is supporting rural Scotland by building new homes and refurbishing existing properties through the £25 million Rural Housing Fund, as well as delivering 100 affordable homes in island communities through a dedicated £5 million fund.

What these figures hide is that far more needs to be done. A BBC article ahead of last year's Scottish Parliament elections stated "to put it simply, fewer houses are being built in Scotland than there used to be". It highlights that "projects spend too long caught up in the planning process, with government statistics suggesting it takes 64 weeks for a major development to get planning permission".

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Scottish First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon. (Courtesy of  Scottish Housing News , 2017).

Scottish First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon. (Courtesy of Scottish Housing News, 2017).