McArthur highlights housing pressures in Orkney

Orkney's MSP, Liam McArthur, has today (Wednesday) urged the Cabinet Secretary for Housing to do more to support island communities to deliver more affordable homes.

Mr McArthur referred to figures revealed last month that found nearly 900 people in Orkney are on the housing waiting list, facing an average wait of over two years.

During an exchange in the Scottish Parliament chamber, Mr McArthur asked the Cabinet Secretary to lay out what additional support is being made available to assist island authorities, such as Orkney Islands Council, "to ensure there is sufficient affordable housing to meet rising demand."

In response, Ms Robison said that the Scottish Government was bringing forward a "specific plan for rural and island Scotland".

Commenting afterwards, Mr McArthur said:

"Housing pressures in Orkney are at an all-time high.  Large numbers find themselves on lengthy waiting lists while many young people are being priced out of the housing market.  This situation has certainly been exacerbated as a result of Covid with inward migration and a sharp rise in house prices.

"It is important, therefore, that the Scottish Government reviews the support it is making available to local authorities.  As well as an increase in funding there is a need to ensure there is sufficient flexibility to meet the specific circumstances in our island communities."

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