Monday, 2 November 2009

Housing debate at the Scottish Lib Dem Conference

On Saturday I made a plea for more funds to be provided for the construction of more rented homes in Fife. At the Scottish Federation of Housing Association's Meeting at the Lib Dem Conference I cited my regular advice surgeries and office calls as evidence that there is a great need.

The housing waiting list in Fife is long and it's not getting shorter. Big families in small overcrowded homes combined is a common feature.

In particular there is considerable demand for suitable accommodation for elderly people with special needs. The council are unable to keep up with the demand for adaptations to homes and elderly people resent the declining warden service for sheltered accommodation.

Another common problem is the rented accommodation trap. Working people on low incomes who are desperate to avoid homelessness often accept private lets that they cannot afford. As a result they run down their savings to keep up with the payments but when they have run out they face eviction and homelessness - but this time without any savings.

The SNP recently cut £4.6m from Fife's housing capital budget because they reckon we have sufficient homes already. I have been pressing them to reverse this cut. Just how can they say we have enough!

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