Orkney MSP Liam McArthur and Shetland MSP Tavish Scott have today called on the Scottish Government to introduce a new fund to support the development of affordable housing in Scotland’s island communities, ahead of a debate at Holyrood.
The Liberal Democrat MSPs tabled an amendment to a Scottish Government housing motion that would see cash earmarked for island homes.
Speaking ahead of the debate, Orkney MSP Liam McArthur said:
“Access to quality housing is a basic right. We know that there are issues with shortages of affordable housing right across Scotland but island communities face specific challenges. Addressing those challenges is critical to ensuring island communities remain attractive places to live and work, particularly for young families. A dedicated islands housing fund could make a big difference in helping to achieve this.”
Shetland MSP Tavish Scott added:
“If Scotland’s islands are to encourage young families to stay and build thriving economies new housing is badly needed. Shetland's housing association has just received more than 180 applications for 14 new homes. An island housing fund will reduce the waiting time for affordable homes that are desperately needed. This is a start but so much more is needed."
Notes to Editors:
The amendment submitted by the Liberal Democrats ahead of Scottish Parliament debate on housing tomorrow (Tuesday 13 September 2016) is as follows:
As an amendment to S5M-01392 in the name of Kevin Stewart (More Investment for More Homes Scotland), insert at end: “recognises that rural areas often have unique issues in the delivery of affordable housing and, following the establishment of the Rural Housing Fund to help address those issues, calls on the Scottish Government to establish a similar Islands Housing Fund to ensure the housing needs of island communities are met.”