Scotland

Scotland risks 'generational gulf' in home ownership

House building in Glasgow Image copyright PA
Image caption The charity said 12,000 affordable homes need to be built in Scotland each year for the next five

Scotland risks creating a "generational gulf" between those with and without homes, a leading charity has warned.

Only the construction of at least 12,000 affordable homes every year for the next five could help bridge that gap, according to Shelter Scotland.

It is one of four priorities outlined in its "Manifesto for Homes" launched ahead of the Holyrood elections.

The Scottish government said it aimed to build at least 50,000 new affordable homes in the next five years.

Shelter Scotland has also published the results of a survey which suggested that two thirds of Scots believe it is harder to buy or rent a home now than for previous generations.

The poll of 1,028 people, which was carried out for the charity by Ipsos Mori, suggested that 90% think it will be even harder for their own children.

Shelter Scotland wants the next Scottish government to commit to at least doubling the current level of affordable housing supply.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Vulnerable people will bear the brunt of the housing crisis, according to Shelter Scotland

It has also called for action to meet the needs of Scotland's homeless, more support for private tenants and to tackle child poverty.

The charity's director, Graeme Brown, said: "Scotland's housing crisis risks creating a devastating generational gulf between the housing haves and the have nots.

"The high cost of housing and the stuttering supply of new affordable homes set against high and rising demand are at the heart of this crisis.

"Sadly, it is those on the lowest incomes and the most vulnerable people in our society who will bear the brunt of the housing crisis unless drastic and bold action is taken now.

"We urge all political parties to use the 12,000 target for new affordable homes as a benchmark for their ambitions to bring real hope to the thousands of people in Scotland without a suitable or affordable home while also delivering a major boost to jobs and the economy."

Affordable homes

The Scottish government said it has helped 20,000 people - many of them aged between 18 and 35 - into home ownership since 2007.

A spokesman added: "We have invested £1.7bn in affordable housing over the lifetime of this parliament and have met and exceeded our target to deliver 30,000 affordable homes, including our 20,000 social rented homes target and within that our 5,000 council homes target.

"Through this, we will have supported 8,000 jobs in each of the five years of this parliament, aided the construction industry, and boosted the economy."

Scottish Labour's communities spokesman Ken Macintosh said his party had committed to the target of 12,000 affordable homes a year over the next five years.

He added: "On top of that, Scottish Labour will also help first time buyers save towards a deposit with £3,000 of extra support for those who put a little aside every month.

"Too many young people in Scotland are stuck in a cycle from which they can't escape. They end up renting to save for a deposit, but the rent is so high they simply can't put enough money away."

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