Housing policy reviewed before important local elections take place

Before the Westminster and Holyrood elections take place, an independent body is being set up to review the housing policy. The Housing and Wellbeing Commission that is being set up with support from Charity Shelter Scotland will have the former Auditor General of Scotland, Robert Black chairing it.

The commission will have eight members from different organisations whose aim will be to improve the wellbeing of people in Scotland by providing better housing. There have been claims that there has been little investment in the past few decades and in order to solve the current housing problem, there is need for fresh ideas.

The people running the project indicated that it was time to take the necessary action since people had been suffering for a long time either because the houses were in poor condition or because they could not afford them. Speaking before the launch Mr Black said that all the evidence pointed to the fact that the main objective of people in Scotland was to have an affordable home although, very many people were still not able to have a secure and affordable home.

Black indicated that figures from the previous year showed 39,000 households had no homes and the council waiting list had 155,100 people. Additionally Scotland was still suffering from poverty, inequalities in education and poor health care facilities.

Black added that Scotland had to realise how important it was to have good housing. This is because it had a profound effect on the wellbeing of all. Inadequate housing could result in poor health and have a bad influence on the education opportunities thus affecting employability.

Black went on to add that Shelter Scotland had invited him to chair the group of influential and wealthy people who would consider ways to improve the living conditions of the people of Scotland. After gathering the relevant material, the commission would be in consultation with housing providers and community groups in the next few months. The report will give a review of the housing priorities before the coming parliamentary elections.