01 Sep 2017
The Scottish Conservatives have announced a number of measures to tackle the housing crisis in Scotland, referencing the RICS Scottish Housing Commission, published in July 2014.
The RICS Scottish Housing Commission comprised a range of independent commissioners, from across the housing sector, and undertook an unparalleled level of stakeholder engagement.
As highlighted in the Commission report’s introduction from, the then RICS Scotland Chairman, Tom Barclay:
The Commission’s task here in Scotland was to actively listen to stakeholders, practitioners and wider experts, and, from that, look to establish a list of key recommendations that could, if implemented, make a fundamental difference in how we tackle Scotland’s housing crisis.
The Commission considered the evidence and produced recommendations based on merit, practicality, and the ability to unlock Scotland’s potential to build a better Scotland.
The Scottish Conservatives’ proposals, taken from the Housing Commission, include:
- Developing a new generation of new towns in Scotland.
- Establishing a new Housing Infrastructure Agency in Scotland to support major local developments and streamline planning.
- Promoting the housing ministerial post to Cabine.
In addition, Ms Davidson also called for a clear plan to ensure Scotland returns to building 25,000 homes a year, of all tenures.
While the Commission was independent from our policy, there are a number of recommendations within the report that we concur with, as they sit well within our remit and our Royal Charter obligation to consider the public interest in our outputs.
A long-term strategy
A cross tenure approach is very much what is needed in Scotland. Home ownership has long been an assumed to be the preference, but it is not readily available to all. We have to increase housing options; whether that is ownership, PRS, SRS, cooperative or self build.
This Commission summarised and reflected the thoughts of the sector in 40 pages; proof that consensus can be found.
It is now time for the Scottish Parliament to agree a long term vision on housing. Political parties need to set their differences aside and, by listening to housing sector experts, deliver a binding covenant to increase housing supply and pace of delivery across all tenures, maintain existing stock, and tackle homelessness.
Read the RICS Housing Commission report
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