20 Mar 2023

Housing organisations urge next First Minister to focus on social housing

In an open letter sent to all three Scottish National Party (SNP) leadership hopefuls, CIH Scotland, alongside the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA) and Shelter Scotland, has called for the next First Minister to urgently prioritise the delivery of social homes.

The letter highlighted to Ash Regan, Humza Yousaf and Kate Forbes the importance of social housing to ending a myriad of issues currently impacting thousands of people throughout the country.

The letter reads:


Dear Candidates,

As representatives of Scotland’s leading housing organisations, we are calling on Scotland’s next First Minister to urgently prioritise and fully fund the delivery of the quality social homes that we desperately need.

Social housing is key to Scotland’s fight for social justice - ending homelessness, invigorating our communities, creating more jobs, meeting climate targets, reducing child poverty and so much more. Yet we are at real risk of not meeting our social housing targets, with a 13 per cent drop in new social home approvals in the year to September 2022, and just 4,188 social homes built so far against the 2032 target of 110,000 affordable homes, of which 77,000 must be social homes. That’s at a time when many families are already waiting far too long in temporary accommodation. The budget of £3.5 billion to deliver affordable housing targets over this Parliamentary term was always going to be challenging but, with inflation driving up the cost of home building across Scotland, the national target is no longer on track.

If elected, we’re asking you to commit to making social homes the cornerstone of Scotland’s fight for social justice and to prioritise reducing housing need. We stand ready to work with you to make this a reality.

Yours sincerely

Sally Thomas

Chief executive, Scottish Federation of Housing Associations

Alison Watson

Chief executive, Shelter Scotland

Callum Chomczuk

National director, Chartered Institute of Housing Scotland