Fife Council needs support to build more family homes

New affordable homes being built
New affordable homes being built

A call has been made for Fife Council to receive greater support from the Scottish Government to build more affordable homes.

Jayne Baxter, Mid-Scotland and Fife MSP, raised a question in the Scottish Parliament asking what the Government was doing to support councils to meet housing needs in their communities.

Fife Council is currently working on a programme to build 2700 affordable homes by 2017, and a recent report on the first year of the programme indicates it is on track to meet its target.

But Ms Baxter highlighted figures published by housing charity Shelter revealing the number of households on Fife Council’s housing waiting list was 12,034 in early 2013, but only 1818 new lets were available in 2012-2013.

She said: “Housing is a huge issue for any MSP in Scotland, no matter which area they represent. I have found that for many constituents in Fife, there is a real concern over the lack of affordable family housing.

“Councils and housing associations are doing what they can to increase the number of homes being built, but I believe the Scottish Government should be doing more to support them.”

Responding to Ms Baxter’s question in parliament, Margaret Burgess, minister for housing, said the Scottish Government was supporting a wide range of schemes to provide affordable housing.

She said: “It is up to each local authority to set its local housing strategy and housing plan.

“The Government supports all tenures of housing in the sector. We have a wide range of schemes, from mid-market schemes to social rented housing, to supporting ownership through the help to buy scheme.

“The Government will continue to do that and to work with its local authority partners.”