Hume calls out SNP for backtracking on housing promise

Scottish Liberal Democrat housing spokesman Jim Hume MSP today called out the SNP for reneging on their election promise to deliver 30,000 homes for social rent before the 2016 Holyrood election.

Speaking ahead of a key debate on the government’s housebuilding programme, Mr Hume said ministers are trying to “cover their tracks” after they claimed to have fulfilled their target, despite only building 20,000 homes for social rent. The other 10,000 homes built are affordable homes.

The SNP pledged in its 2011 election manifesto that it would ‘build over 6,000 new socially-rented houses each year’ - a total of 30,000 over the course of the current parliamentary session.

Commenting ahead of the debate Mr Hume said:

"The Scottish Liberal Democrats want a Scotland where homelessness is a thing of the past. In 2011 the SNP promised that they would build 30,000 homes for social rent over the course of this parliament. This target will be missed by 10,000 homes. That is the reality.

"Changing targets to make them easier to meet might be good for press releases but it will not help any of thousands of families that will spend Christmas in temporary accommodation this year. The truth is that the SNP have not hit their manifesto target on homes for social rent. They have not even come close. It is time that ministers were honest about their record. 

"Everyone understands that we need to build more affordable homes in communities right across Scotland. But most of the families who do not have permanent accommodation are unlikely to be able to buy their own property. These families benefit most from increases in socially rented housing stock and they have been let down by the Scottish Government.

"The SNP has repeatedly refused to acknowledge that they have switched to a less ambitious housebuilding target which has had an extremely negative impact on the ability of thousands of families to obtain safe and warm permanent accommodation.

“The SNP are now trying to cover their tracks on a significant policy change when Nicola Sturgeon claims the SNP has a good record on housing. Is she sure?”

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