A report by the Independent Commission on Housing and Wellbeing has reported that Scotland needs to build 23,000 homes a year to avoid children developing lasting health problems. Around 150,500 households are on social housing waiting lists, while 940,000 live in fuel poverty and 60,000 are overcrowded. The authors call for urgent action to address the shortage of decent affordable housing in the country. Home ownership is becoming increasingly out of reach for many young adults and families as house prices continue to rise, while incomes do not keep pace.
The report, Housing and Wellbeing: A blueprint for Scotland’s future, makes 18 priority recommendations which it says would begin to address housing-related poverty and environmental challenges. The framework for the report is grouped under the following five headings:
- Housing as home
- Housing and Neighbourhood & community
- Housing and Economic Wellbeing
- Housing and Health and Education
- Housing and Environmental Sustainability
The Scottish Government’s Communities Minister Alex Neil dismissed warnings of a growing housing crisis, while predicting that the Scottish Government is set to exceed its target of building 30,000 new homes by 2016.