Why Shelter Scotland has launched a manifesto for homes

Written by Graeme Brown, Shelter Scotland on 16 February 2016 in Comment

Shelter Scotland's director Graeme Brown urges parties to make affordable housing a political and fiscal priority

For Scotland to become a more equal and socially just society, where all that live here have the opportunity to thrive, we must ensure that everyone has access to a safe, secure affordable home.

The failure to realise this fundamental right over successive generations has created a housing crisis that is damaging the lives and life chances of far too many people in Scotland. It is a housing crisis with a very human cost.

In Scotland today, over 150,000 households are on council’s waiting lists for a home and 35,764 people made a homeless application last year. Tragically, tomorrow morning almost 5,000 children in Scotland will wake up without somewhere to call home.


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A chronic shortage in the supply of affordable and socially rented homes, combined with rocketing house price rises means that the number of people living in Scotland’s private rented sector has doubled in the last ten years and now includes around 85,000 families with children. We need to act now to make having a home a political and fiscal priority for the duration of the next parliament and beyond.

We know that the public are worried about these issues. New research from Ipsos MORI Scotland, on behalf of Shelter Scotland, shows a vast majority of people – 90 per cent think it will be harder for their children to buy or rent a home in the future than it is today.  

It is in this context that Shelter Scotland has launched our Manifesto for Homes 2016, to urge all politicians and all parties to put homes at the heart of the political debate in the run up to the Holyrood election in May. Our Manifesto for Homes asks politicians to support four key commitments:

- Deliver a home for everyone in Scotland
- Meet the needs of every homeless person in Scotland
- Make private renting right
- Put housing at the heart of social justice and tackling child poverty

A good home is central to our wellbeing both as individuals and collectively as a nation. From improving our health outcomes to raising educational attainment, reducing reoffending and tackling inequality – all of these depend on whether or not people in Scotland have a decent home. 


Graeme Brown, is the director of Shelter Scotland

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