Biggest housing protest since First World War sees 30,000 call for 30,000 homes
7 September 2007
In the biggest housing protest since the First World War, Shelter Scotland today (Wednesday) delivered 30,000 postcards from the public to Finance Secretary John Swinney, which urge him to fund 30,000 new affordable rented homes for Scotland.
The postcards, collected over the summer, are the largest show of public feeling on a housing issue since the Rent Strikes of 1915 and illustrate the strength of public feeling behind Shelter Scotland's campaign for more affordable rented homes (2).
Archie Stoddart, director of Shelter Scotland, housing and homelessness charity, said: 'Since the start of the year, Shelter, along with other housing organisations, have been urging Scottish politicians to commit to building 30,000 affordable rented homes over the next three years.
'Since we launched our campaign, average house prices have risen over £10,000 leaving even more people priced out of the property ladder, and there are still many thousands of people on house waiting lists, or in temporary accommodation (3). Since we launched our campaign, Gordon Brown has pushed housing to the top of the agenda south of the Border, committing to building more homes than ever before. Increasingly people say affordable housing must be a top priority in Scotland.
'Priority must be given to increasing social housing to ensure that those at the raw end of the housing crisis, like families stuck in temporary accommodation, or in unsuitable housing, can get a house. We cannot continue in cities like Edinburgh to have over 700 applications for one council house.
'John Swinney holds the purse strings on public spending and will make the final decisions on what we spend Scotland's money on through this year's comprehensive spending review (4). We've heard how we should expect a tight spending programme for 2008-2011 but we cannot brush this problem under the carpet. Over 30,000 members of the public agree with us. It's time to get a move on and deliver the housing needed to adequately house Scotland's people and meet the 2012 homelessness target (5).'
Notes to Editors
- A full briefing on postcard drop and the 'It's time to get a move in campaign' is available from scotland.shelter.org.uk/media
- Also known as council housing. Affordable housing for rent could come from either local authorities, or housing associations.
- There were over 200,000 people on house waiting lists in 2006. There were over 8,000 homeless households in temporary accommodation in March 2006. (Last available figures).
- In October, politicians are expected to announce the spending of money that is available for the next three years (2008-2011) in a process called the comprehensive spending review (CSR). This process will decide how much public money will be spent across different priorities, including money allocated to building new homes.
- In 2003, the Scottish Parliament passed internationally acclaimed legislation stating that everyone who is homeless would have the right to a home by 2012.
- 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 (connects to out of hours service).
- For more information about Shelter visit www.shelter.org.uk