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SFHA call on Scottish Government to fund affordable housing as Fife set to declare housing emergency

Fife Council will vote on a motion to declare a housing emergency following similar declarations by three other councils. 

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SFHA has called on the Scottish Government to commit to sufficiently funding affordable rented housing as Fife looks set to be the fourth council in Scotland to declare a housing emergency. 

Councillors will be asked to vote on a motion declaring a housing emergency during a full meeting of Fife Council in Glenrothes today amid unprecedented pressure on the local authority’s housing services.  

It follows similar motions which were approved last year in Argyll and Bute, Edinburgh, and Glasgow. The motion to be voted on by Fife Council calls for the local authority to urgently work on a plan to address the crisis.  

It comes after SFHA had last week written to the Minister for Housing, Paul McLennan MSP, asking the Scottish Government to keep its word on prioritising funding for housing in light of additional funds Holyrood is set to receive from the UK Government’s Spring Budget.  

SFHA has also expressed concerns to the Scottish Government of the unintended consequences which would occur if housing associations had to become overly reliant on private finance amid diminishing public investment.  

Speaking to The Herald, Sally Thomas, Chief Executive of SFHA said: “It’s unlikely that Fife will be the final local authority to make this declaration, and until the Scottish Government commits to sufficient funding for the affordable, secure, rented homes Scotland needs, then its long-term strategy for housing will continue to unravel.   

“During the Scottish Government’s Budget process, the Deputy First Minister repeatedly said any additional funds that became available would go to affordable rented housing. Now that Scotland is to receive around £295 million of consequential funding from the UK Government Spring Budget, we are calling on Shona Robison to keep her word.   

“With almost quarter-of-a-million people on a waiting list for an affordable rented home and the highest number of homeless cases on record, inaction is simply not an option.”  

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