Scottish Housing Policy Response

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Following the publishing of an independent report on national housing policy by The Housing and Wellbeing Commission, the Scottish Government has responded to guidance.

The Housing and Wellbeing Commission, set up with the support of charity Shelter Scotland, was chaired by Robert Black, the former Auditor General of Scotland.

Social Justice Secretary Alex Neil has responded to the report, pointing to steps taken by the government, which will boost housing supply and protect social and private tenants. He said: “We recognise the critical role that housing plays in promoting social justice, strengthening communities and tackling inequalities.

“We have invested £1.7Bn in affordable housing over the lifetime of this Parliament and have met and exceeded our target to deliver 30,000 affordable homes, including our 20,000 social rented homes target and within that our 5,000 council homes target.

“We are determined to increase housing supply across all tenures, which is why we have set a target of delivering at least 50,000 affordable homes over the next five years.

“We also want to protect and promote the interests of tenants in the social and private rented sectors. We introduced the first Scottish Social Housing Charter, which set out standards that all social landlords should be achieving.

“The Private Housing Tenancy Bill will enshrine in law measures to provide security and stability for hundreds of thousands of tenants

“We will also abolish the bedroom tax as soon as possible by making use of the devolved powers to vary the under occupancy charge within the housing element of Universal Credit. At the same time, for those remaining on Housing Benefit, we will continue to mitigate the bedroom tax fully, through Discretionary Housing Payments.”