Vote for homes, says Shelter Scotland
20 April 2007
Housing must be an election issue for voters urged Shelter Scotland today (Friday) - as the charity highlights the housing crisis facing Scotland.
With less than two weeks to go, voters are urged to look at parties' housing policies before deciding where to place their cross on the ballot paper on May 3.
The call comes the same day as the charity reveals research showing it is nearly 65 per cent harder for first time buyers in Scotland to climb onto the property ladder than it was ten years ago. (1)
Archie Stoddart, director of Shelter Scotland, said: 'The new research shows the plight of first time buyers in Scotland, but there were over 200,000 ordinary families on house waiting lists across Scotland in 2006, and thousands of people stuck in temporary accommodation. Housing must be a top consideration for voters.
'In the past week alone, we've read about voters concerned about housing issues, newspaper articles about homes being unaffordable for key workers, articles on whether soaring house prices will peak this year. Time and time again we're told the main issues for voters in the election are around education, health, crime and the environment yet housing is central to everyone's lives.'
- People living in good housing enjoy better health, but 360,000 homes still suffer from dampness and condensation. 1 in 6 families will face the problem of living in damp homes. (2)
- Good housing increases the chances of a successful education but overcrowding or time spent in temporary accommodation will reduce the educational chances for many children.
- Good housing benefits the environment. 88 per cent of existing homes in Scotland do not meet current building regulation standards for energy efficiency. Scotland's people must have energy efficient homes.
Archie Stoddart added: 'Politicians and the public must push housing to the top of the political agenda. Thousands of people across Scotland are in housing need. We must see action to help ordinary families get access to safe, secure and affordable housing.'
To help voters, Shelter Scotland has provided an easy reference guide on the main parties' policies on housing, which can be downloaded from www.shelter.org.uk/manifesto. People can also find out about the housing situation in their area at www.shelter.org.uk/housingfacts
Notes to Editors
- The new ROOF Affordability Index figures for 2007 were released to newdesks yesterday afternoon under a 00.01am Friday embargo. To see the press release visit the press room at www.shelter.org.uk/press or telephone the media office on 0844 515 2442.
- Shelter Scotland, along with other housing organisations, are calling for 30,000 affordable rented homes for Scotland through this year's comprehensive spending review. For more information visit the media room at www.shelter.org.uk/csr_media
- Facts and figures are from the recent joint manifesto: Housing Scotland: Planning for a better future. Available from http://www.cih.org/scotland/election/
- 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