Minister criticised over housing record

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Housing Minister Margaret Burgess defended her record on housing under strong criticism from opposition parties, during the second part of the Labour debate on the issue on 4 December 2013.

The minister said: "The Scottish government has a clear vision that everyone of us in Scotland should live in a high quality sustainable home that we can afford and meets our needs."

Ms Burgess listed what she said the government had done in housing, including boosting the housing supply budgets to £1.53bn for four years; outperforming Labour in affordable housing by an average of 32% in completions and were on track to build 30,000 affordable homes.

Ms Burgess insisted: "This government is delivering and is leading in housing."

Labour MSP James Kelly highlighted figures published on Monday which showed fewer houses were built in Scotland in the year up to June compared with the previous 12 months.

A total of 13,478 homes were built, which was down 14% from the previous year.

Mr Kelly said: "It is not a surprise Homes for Scotland have described this as the biggest housing crisis since World War II."

He said: "Scotland does deserve better, we need an action plan to tackle the housing crisis."

The Labour MSP criticised the housing minister for not having brought a housing debate to the chamber in 15 months, in which time he said the SNP had debated the Census, the Ryder Cup and "wasted" £100,000 on postcards publicising the White Paper, which he called an "absolute scandal".

The first part of the debate can be viewed below:

Labour housing debate 1

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