Parties across UK make housing pledges as they prepare for elections
SNP and Labour battle over Glasgow’s housing problems
Glasgow’s housing crisis has become a key battleground as the Scottish National Party bids to end 31 years of Labour Party rule in Scotland’s biggest city.
With around 40,000 people currently on the city’s housing waiting lists and almost 2,000 empty homes, the Scottish National Party is targeting significant gains in the Labour-run council on 3 May. Both parties have pledged to build 3,500 new homes in the city.
Labour has been left in turmoil after the de-selection of 17 of its candidates and the defection of six to the SNP. The SNP hopes to add to its 20 seats, against Labour’s 39.
The SNP’s manifesto for Glasgow includes plans to renovate some of the city’s 2,000 empty homes and a policy on self-build which would allow development on land specially allocated by the council. The document also promises jobs and training opportunities for the local community with all new housing projects.
The Labour administration, which has held power for 31 years, responded by proposing to launch a mortgage deposit scheme and to work to mitigate the effects of Westminster’s welfare reforms by working with social housing providers and financial advice services.
Mary Taylor, chief executive of the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations, said: ‘Housing is of paramount importance in the Scottish local elections. The shortage of affordable housing, and the need to provide good quality associated services, is a key concern for voters.’
Elections will also take place across 131 English local authorities and in 21 authorities across Wales on 3 May.