Shelter Scotland responds to Scottish Government's housing statement
25 June 2008
Shelter Scotland has welcomed the measures announced by the Scottish Government today (Wednesday), aimed at helping people stay in their homes, including the new £25 million Homeowners' Support Fund.
But the housing charity added that in the long run these must not be a replacement for increased investment in affordable housing.
James Jopling, Head of Campaigns at Shelter Scotland, which had been calling for an expansion of the current Mortgage to Rent scheme, said: 'This is a substantial chunk of cash to plough into preventing repossessions and Minister should be commended for having the vision to extend the mortgage safety net for homeowners.
'Research shows that a single homelessness application, plus associated costs, can reach almost £25,000 , so in financial terms alone, it is worth stopping people from facing the trauma of becoming homeless.
'When you're forced to stretch yourself financially to buy a home, you’re more vulnerable to falling off the housing ladder. Research indicates people are more likely to fall into mortgage arrears if they lose their employment, become ill or sick, or if they experience the breakdown of a relationship; or they are self-employed and their wages drop .'
He added: 'This is why we must strive, at the same time as preventing homelessness, to ensure housing in Scotland is affordable. We will continue to face problems unless we ensure a good supply of affordable rented homes, which is why the Scottish Government must also step up efforts to increase the numbers available in Scotland.'
Notes to editors
- Scottish Council for Single Homelessness (2007) Tenancy Failure - How much does it cost?
- UK Government; Communities and Local Government Survey of English Housing. Although this survey only uses data from England the results are likely to be applicable in Scotland where the mortgage lending system and regulation is largely similar.
- 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 www.shelter.org.uk