8 out of 10 people say more cash needed for affordable housing
16 May 2007
Eight out of ten people think affordable rented housing is in short supply and that the government must inject more cash into providing homes for people, according to a stark new poll released today (Wednesday).
The results of the survey  are released by housing and homelessness charity, Shelter Scotland, as the country waits to find out who will lead the Scottish Executive after the vote for First Minister takes place in Parliament today.
And the charity is strongly urging the new First Minister to take heed of the public's concerns over housing and place providing good quality, affordable homes at the heart of the parliament's spending priorities.
The survey of 1,001 people in Scotland - conducted by TNS System Three just days before the Scottish election - showed that 80 per cent of people agreed that there was not enough affordable housing for people to rent from councils or housing associations in their part of Scotland.
Even more people - a staggering 84 per cent - thought the government in Scotland had ignored public rented housing needs for too long and must increase the amount it spends on affordable rented housing.
The news is a reminder of the problems Scottish local authorities face in housing people. In Scotland, over 200,000 people are on house waiting lists, while over 8,000 households are in temporary accommodation. There are thousands of first time buyers struggling to get onto the property ladder, while some are increasingly overstretched after four interest rate rises since last summer.
Archie Stoddart, director of the housing and homelessness charity, said: 'Whoever leads Scotland today and determines our spending priorities over the coming years, cannot afford to ignore the cold reality of this poll, which shows that people up and down the country think affordable rented housing needs to be a top priority.
'As the political map of Scotland changes, it is interesting to hear the recent comments of Gordon Brown, who has recognised the vital role of housing for rent and the need for more homes. We hope the new Scottish administration will be progressive enough to realise that a good home is central to the health and wellbeing of our nation's people and that ordinary families up and down the country can ill afford for housing to be ignored any longer.'
Shelter Scotland launched its 'It's time to get a move in' campaign back in February, urging the Scottish Executive to fund 30,000 homes over the next three years, through this year's comprehensive spending review. The charity - along with other housing organisations  - argues that 2007 presents the best opportunity to significantly invest in housing and help alleviate the current strain on Scotland's housing market.
The charity also led a 19 strong coalition - made up of business, church and environmental groups, trade unions and the health and housing sectors - prior to the election to call for housing to be placed at the centre of the political agenda.
Notes to Editors
- TNS System Three from April 26 to May 3 conducted the survey. A total of 1,001 adults (aged 16 and over) were interviewed in 73 constituencies across Scotland. They were asked firstly whether they agreed with the statement 'There is not enough affordable housing for people to rent from councils or housing associations, in this part of Scotland', and secondly, whether 'The Government in Scotland must increase the amount it has allocated to providing affordable rented housing for people.' The figures showed for the first question: 62 per cent agreed strongly; 18 per cent agreed slightly; 8 per cent neither agreed or disagreed; 6 per cent disagreed slightly; 2 per cent disagreed strongly; and 4 per cent didn't know. On the second question: 63 per cent agreed strongly; 21 per cent agreed slightly; 8 per cent neither agreed or disagreed; 4 per cent disagreed slightly; less than 1 per cent disagreed strongly; and 3 per cent didn't know.
- Shelter Scotland, along with other housing organisations, is calling for 30,000 affordable rented homes for Scotland through this year's comprehensive spending review. For more information visit scotland.shelter.org.uk/media
- Shelter believes everyone should have a home and helps 170,000 people a year fight for their rights, get back on their feet, and find and keep a home. We also tackle the root causes of Britain's housing crisis by campaigning for new laws, policies and solutions.
- Spokespeople are available for interview, telephone the media office on 0844 515 2442. An ISDN line number is available for broadcast interviews.
- For more information about Shelter visit scotland.shelter.org.uk/