Our Plan for Scotland

More homes for rent

More homes for rent

The lack of affordable housing limits people’s ability to get on in life, achieve their potential or provide security for their family. Homelessness destroys people’s lives.

Increasing the supply of affordable, rented housing will directly give families and individuals the security and stability to lead their lives. And an increase in the supply of rented housing will help lower the costs of other types of tenure.

We will increase the number of homes constructed for social rent, make sure they are accessible and re-establish social renting as a valid long term option for people.

  • We will increase the number of affordable homes by 50,000 over the next Parliament. We will make sure that 40,000 of these are for social rent rather than purchase. With private housebuilding returning to pre-recession levels this will mean around 110,000 new homes will have been brought into use by 2021 with one third of those for affordable rent. To do this we will:
  • Support the continued innovation that has harnessed new forms of funding for Scottish housing and brought new types of property into use;
  • Expand the Housing Fund for Scotland model that has seen investment in rented homes pioneered by a local government pension fund. This expansion to all funds will add 12,000 new homes. We will work with pension fund trustees to give them the confidence of an effective return for their investment;
  • Use a proportion of any future Barnett consequentials from the UK which are classed as ‘financial transactions’ to fund new housing association properties as well as help-to-buy schemes;
  • Renew the empty homes strategy to bring as many of the 27,000 empty homes back into use as part of the 110,000 total of new homes –including introduction of a Help to Renovate loan;
  • Work with the British Business Bank to help direct support to small and medium sized house-builders who struggle to get support from traditional banks;
  • Extend existing house-building programmes by using a proportion of investment from our Fit For The Future Investment Plan.

We will help tackle youth homelessness through an emphasis on mediation and reconciliation with families. We will support a dozen new centres across Scotland offering supported accommodation for young people, with direct access to advice and training.

We will require local authorities to monitor and account for the outcomes of young homeless people and take their responsibilities as ‘corporate parents’ seriously for young people leaving local authority care and not permit transfers to B&Bs and temporary accommodation for care leavers.