Scottish Federation of Housing Associations launches its election manifesto
The SFHA has published its manifesto on affordable and social housing for the Scottish parliamentary elections
The Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA) has launched its manifesto for the Scottish parliamentary elections.
The social housing trade body is calling for the political parties to sign up to five key housing proposals, similar to Shelter Scotland’s manifesto, which was published yesterday.
The first proposal is for 12,000 new affordable homes to be built every year – also the first point in Shelter Scotland’s manifesto.
This is the number of new affordable homes in Scotland needed annually for the next five years, according to research commissioned jointly by the SFHA, Shelter Scotland and the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) Scotland last year.
Secondly, the SFHA manifesto calls for the increased Scottish Government grant for building new housing association homes to be maintained, meaning £70,000 of public funding for housing associations to build a typical family home, with the rest made up from private investment.
The SFHA also proposes the next Scottish government tackles fuel poverty, including making sure that all homes are made at least ‘Category C’ energy efficient by 2025, uses the powers in the Scotland Bill to make sure housing association tenants don’t have their benefits cut, and gives housing and social landlords a role in the integrated health and social care partnerships.
In return the SFHA promises its members will help build the new homes, bring in private sector investment, maintain houses that are warm, dry and cheap to heat, support tenants, and act as a preventative wellbeing service to keep residents safe and well.
SFHA chief executive Mary Taylor said: “We are calling on all political parties to sign up to our five key asks and to acknowledge the crucial role that housing has to play in the lives of Scotland’s people.
“Good quality, affordable, warm, energy efficient housing is vital for a person’s mental and physical health and wellbeing.
“Investing in housing is also a form of preventative spend as many associations provide services and specially adapted homes for disabled and older people.
“Research has shown that hospital care is more expensive than supported accommodation: the cost of a general hospital stay is nearly £194,000 per year.
“In contrast, an association providing supported care for tenants with very complex needs, at the high end of the cost spectrum, costs £18,435 per year.
“By delivering our key asks, the next Scottish Government will protect some of Scotland’s poorest and most vulnerable people, and the SFHA and its members are ready to assist it.”
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