Northern Isles MSPs Liam McArthur and Tavish Scott today welcomed a new £5 million islands housing fund, as Ministers confirmed during a Holyrood debate that they would adopt the Scottish Liberal Democrat proposal.
The Scottish Liberal Democrats yesterday tabled an amendment to a Scottish Government motion calling for the introduction of an islands housing fund. Housing Minister Kevin Stewart today confirmed that the Scottish Government is set to take the idea forward, which could make a positive difference to housing stock in Orkney and Shetland.
Speaking after the announcement, Liam McArthur MSP said:
“Island communities face very particular challenges in terms of affordable housing and this initiative has the potential to make a positive difference.
“We now need to see urgent work done to flesh out how the new fund will work in practice.”
Tavish Scott MSP added:
“There is huge pressure on affordable housing in Shetland and this announcement comes as welcome news. I am pleased that the Scottish Government have taken this idea forwards.
“However, boosting housing stock in the Isles will not come cheap. People will want to be assured that this is more than a PR exercise. The Minister made all the right noises today but make no mistake, he will be held to account for his words.
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 motion 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 that the housing needs of island communities are met."