Why have Scotland’s politicians failed to solve our chronic housing crisis?

by Róisín McLaren – SSP national co-spokesperson

Few would deny Scotland faces a housing crisis which inflicts real hardship on hundreds of thousands of families every day. With 200,000 people on the housing waiting list, it will take them 20 years, at the current rate, to secure decent accommodation – since fewer than 1,000 new homes were built for rent in the public sector last year.

With the average price of a house now £200,000, it is well out of reach of most people – at eight times the average wage.

Meanwhile, the average rent in the private sector is £650/month – and that gets you little more than a small flat.

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Standing for top-quality housing

by Bill Bonnar

The Scottish Socialist Party believes that the only way to tackle Scotland’s housing crisis and to meet the long term housing needs of the people of Scotland is through a massive expansion of social housing.

Decades of government cuts in housing support to local authorities, combined with the fiscally ruinous right-to-buy policy, and a host of other capitalist measures have driven people into mortgage-based home ownership and the private rented sector. This has condemned hundreds of thousands of families to life sentences served out in dilapidated housing schemes.

Only by reversing these trends can we resolve the problems. The private sector has never been a solution; it is a large part of the problem.

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Scotland’s Empty Homes

Louis_McIntosh copyby Louis McIntosh

“Every council house sold, leaves a family without a home”. My dad said that to me after Right to Buy (the Housing Act 1980) was introduced. He was almost right. The reality is more frightening, because for every three council houses sold; only one was built to replace them. It doesn’t take a genius to work out how much of that housing stock ended up in the hands of private landlords.

The SNP’s policy of 25% of all new houses built in Scotland being for the social housing sector appears is under-equipped to house the eye-watering 173,500 people currently waiting on council housing lists.

There is an alternative that could help to alleviate those council waiting lists.

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Evict The Tories – Not Tenants!

by Richie Venton

“I moved from a two bedroom house to a three, because as well as my 3-year-old I have three stepsons who live with us a few days a week.

“The council said I qualified for that size of house, but now months later I am being hammered by the Bedroom Tax, because my husband doesn’t get any of the child benefits for his sons.

“On top of that my husband is ill. He had a heart attack at work, was declared fit after three months, went back to work and had another attack.

“We need an extra bedroom for me to sleep because he suffers COPD and it’s impossible to sleep in the same room.

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