In support of the housing motion at #ScotLab15 tomorrow.
I lived in a council house in Kirkcaldy until I was 18, when I left home to go to university. Looking back, I can see now that the state provided us with a safe and warm home at a fair and predictable rent. For a family that was always skint, social housing gave us dignity.
Although there were problems with the system even then, now the demand for social housing in Scotland has become completely unacceptable.
150,000 people are on council waiting lists.
Tens of thousands of people have applied to be considered as homeless.
50,000 people are living in overcrowded accommodation.
Over ten thousand people are living in temporary accommodation.
The last Labour government built 4,500 homes for social housing per year. We should be proud of this, but we should have done more.
Jeremy Corbyn told our UK conference that nationalism does not build homes.
This was not an empty slogan.
The SNP have built just 3,500 homes per year since 2011.
That’s 1000 homes fewer than Labour. That’s a thousand families let down. That’s 1000 fewer homes built when the SNP government has been sitting on hundreds of millions of pounds of unspent money.
I support this motion, but it will mean delivering over 10,000 homes per year if we are to meet Shelter’s aspiration. It will not be easy.
It will mean investing in apprenticeship to build the homes.
It will mean investing in our colleges to educate these apprentices.
It will mean giving people an education and training that means they can demand a fair wage and embark on a career that enables them to also live in dignity.
That’s why I support this motion. It will give people homes and help as grow our economy.