Tackling Scotland’s housing crisis

6 August 2017 

Home is at the heart of all of our lives.

It’s the foundation on which we raise our families, the bedrock of our dreams and aspirations. But for too many people, the housing pressures they face are getting worse, not better.

There is a housing crisis in Scotland. With overcrowding and a lack of suitable accommodation for families and people with disabilities, Scotland not only needs more homes, but more of the right homes.

For Labour, housing is a social justice issue - and always has been throughout our proud history.


This week, we revealed how the SNP government is underestimating social housing demand in Scotland by around 30 per cent. While the Scottish Government estimates that there are 142,500 households on council waiting lists, this does not include people in the six local authorities which have transferred their stock to housing associations: Glasgow; Argyll and Bute; Dumfries and Galloway; Western Isles; Scottish Borders and Inverclyde.

Our analysis shows the real figure is closer to 200,000.

It doesn’t have to be like this. . Shelter Scotland has identified that 60,000 affordable homes need to be built by the end of this Parliament to address the housing shortage, a figure Scottish Labour committed to meet.


Labour wants to see a national house building strategy which sets out the numbers of houses to be built in each area and allows for proper planning and delivery. This strategy also means planning local jobs and apprenticeships around the programme.

We need to ensure there is the capacity, the available land and the resources to be able to deliver the houses for social rent that are required. A national house building strategy with local delivery plans for every local council area of Scotland would do just that.

Today we are demanding the SNP Government introduces tougher targets to make private rented homes more energy efficient.

Soaring energy costs and poorly insulated homes have pushed a third of those living in the private rented sector into fuel poverty.
We are setting an ambitious target to ensure that all private sector properties reach an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of at least C by 2025.
This would help to reduce bills for families living in rented homes, and help to tackle climate change.
As it stands, the SNP Government proposals would currently only require private sector properties to reach an EPC rating of at least D.

Throughout this week, our summer campaign will focus on how Scottish Labour would make Scotland a greener country. Read more about our campaign, For The Many, by clicking the image below: