Housing charity delighted new Minister puts more affordable homes as his top priority
4 March 2009
Shelter Scotland, leading housing and homelessness charity, said they were delighted new Communities and Housing Minister Alex Neil has made increasing the numbers of new homes, including affordable rented homes, his 'number one priority'.
The charity spoke out after the new Minister made the commitment during his first appearance at the Local Government and Communities Committee.
Graeme Brown, Director of Shelter Scotland, housing and homelessness charity, said:
'Alex Neil's commitment to increasing the number of homes is a welcome boost to the thousands of people on waiting lists, in B&Bs, and in temporary accommodation across Scotland.
'With the recession continuing to bite and an estimated 7,000 repossessions this year creating new homeless families every week in Scotland, radical action is required.
'We can and must continue to build homes to help build our way out of this recession.
'Alex Neil has our support to achieve his goal, which is why we’re calling for a major cash investment in housing through this year’s budget and beyond.'
The charity is calling for 10,000 affordable rented homes a year to be built, along with other housing organisations in Scotland, to help house people and meet Scotland’s internationally acclaimed homelessness legislation to give everyone a home by 2012. 
Shelter recently submitted a proposal to the UK Treasury for more money for housing in the April Budget , to help towards meeting that target.
In its new paper 'Building Homes and Protecting Jobs' Shelter argues that a massive injection of additional funding is needed in the April Budget to build extra homes and sustain jobs through the recession. It argues that £600 million extra for housing in Scotland would build 6,000 homes, get dormant construction sites working again and sustain over 10,000 jobs. 
The publication of the paper coincided with the Deputy First Minister writing to the UK Chancellor ahead of the Budget on 22 April to ask for radical steps on new housing investment.
Notes to editors
- By 2012 all unintentionally homeless people should have access to a permanent home, under Scottish legislation. Currently, only people designated to be in ‘priority need’ – generally families with children – have the right to permanent homes. All others have access to only temporary accommodation and support. By 2012, there will be no distinction and everyone will have the right to a home.
- Read Shelter's press release.
- Read the paper, 'Building Homes and Protecting Jobs'.