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by Alison Watson, Shelter Scotland
14 December 2020
Associate feature: Let's build Scotland's future

House being built - Image credit: PA

Associate feature: Let's build Scotland's future

A safe home is the foundation on which we build our lives and our families’ futures. This year has shown that like never before.

But for too many people in Scotland, this basic human need is out of reach.

Homelessness is rising and there are record numbers of households in temporary accommodation.

As the pandemic continues, more and more people are battling to keep a roof over their heads.

But let’s be clear: this didn’t start with coronavirus. The housing emergency as it exists today has been building for decades.

It’s the inevitable result of an unequal economic system. And it’s forcing people - including far too many children - into poverty.

The Edinburgh Poverty Commission found that across Scotland, one in eight families in poverty are only there because of housing costs.

In Edinburgh that rises to one in three. And for many more struggling families, soaring housing costs are a big part of the problem.

To fix this, we’ve got to increase the supply of homes for social rent. And the next Scottish government has the power to do that.

We’re calling on all parties to commit – in their manifestoes – to getting affordable housing need into decline by the end of the next parliament.

That will take at least 53,000 new affordable homes, including 37,100 for social rent.

Delivering more social homes will give families the security they need to thrive.

It will help us to make child poverty a thing of the past. And it will be a core part of a green recovery, creating good jobs and helping Scotland to meet its climate targets.

This is the single most important step we can take towards a safer, healthier, more equal future.

We know that voters support it, and thousands of people have already joined our campaign.

Let’s build Scotland’s future.

Alison Watson is the director of Shelter Scotland

This article was sponsored by Shelter Scotland 


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