Calls to declare housing emergency as 'Scots cry out for help'

Figures have shown rents had risen by more than 12% in Scotland over the last year - higher than any part of the UK.

The Scottish Government has been urged to back a motion declaring a housing emergency as “Scots cry out for help” amid the crisis.

Scottish Labour is set to table a motion in Holyrood which will ask MSPs to agree Scotland is facing a “housing emergency”.

Mark Griffin, the party’s housing spokesman, said ministers have offered no support to people at risk of homelessness as he argues the work to build social housing has dropped by 26% from 2022.

He also blamed rising inflation which caused mortgage payments to increase by up to £190 per month, which Scottish Labour claims was exacerbated by former prime minister Liz Truss’s mini budget.

It comes as figures published last month by real estate giants Zoopla said rents had risen by more than 12% in Scotland over the last year – higher than any part of the UK.

And there were 15,000 households homeless in temporary accommodation, including 8,000 children – a record high.

Griffin said: “After a year of SNP turmoil and the Tory mortgage bombshell, this motion is long overdue.

“In the past year, homelessness has hit a record high, mortgages have soared and under the SNP, new home building has plummeted.

“Scots are being left with nowhere to turn while they give more and more of their paycheque just to have somewhere to live.

“Scots are crying out for support with this crisis, but nothing is being offered. The SNP must heed Labour’s call and declare a housing emergency across Scotland.”

Earlier this month, Edinburgh City Council declared a housing emergency after statistics showed homelessness reached nearly 5,000 households per night in the capital.

Housing Minister Paul McLennan said: “The housing sector across the UK has felt the impact of sky-high interest rates and inflation caused by the mini-budget and Brexit.

“Despite that, since 2007 Scotland has led the UK in housing with 123,985 affordable homes delivered since 2007, including over 87,000 for social rent. We are making available £3.5 billion over this parliamentary term to support delivery of 110,000 affordable homes by 2032, 70% of which will be for social rent.

“I have regularly met with representatives from Scotland’s local authorities and have actively engaged with them to find solutions to help address housing pressures in their area.

“I am calling on the UK Government to provide immediate support for households in the Chancellor’s Autumn statement by reversing cuts to the Scottish Government’s capital budget and scrap the freeze on Local Housing Allowance.”

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