England’s million new homes target ‘brings Scottish housing crisis into focus’
Homes for Scotland has called on the Scottish Government to show similar housebuilding ambitions as England after housing minister Brandon Lewis announced that the UK government wants to see a million homes built south of the border by 2020.
Although Westminster has thus far resisted setting any housebuilding targets, the Conservative minister told a BBC documentary that his party aimed to build one million new homes by the end of the current Parliament.
Hitting that target would mean immediately ramping up building to at least 200,000 new homes per year – a level of house-building not seen in England since 1989.
Philip Hogg, chief executive of industry body Homes for Scotland, urged Holyrood to provide the necessary support to tackle the Scottish housing crisis.
He said: “With the number of new homes built north of the border having fallen by 40 per cent since 2007, Scotland faces the same challenges as those being highlighted in England. As numerous reports have identified, hundreds of thousands of new homes are needed here over the next twenty years to meet the diverse housing needs of our growing population.
“Achieving this, however, requires the necessary support to be in place to increase delivery across all tenures. Crucial, for example, is an efficient and responsive planning system which facilitates housing delivery. Whilst this is being considered by the recently announced independent panel undertaking a ‘root and branch’ review, time really is of the essence in this regard.
“We also still await the detail on the £195m successor to the hugely successful Help to Buy (Scotland) shared equity scheme which is essential to builders’ forward planning and investment decision-making.”