60,000 New Homes Planned By Labour

23 January 2016, 07:01 | Updated: 23 January 2016, 07:03

A pledge to build 60,000 new homes over the course of the next parliament would support almost 50,000 jobs a year, Scottish Labour has claimed.

The party said its promise to build 12,000 affordable properties per year over five years would sustain about 49,200 jobs annually.

Scottish Labour said the analysis, based on a Homes for Scotland estimate that 4.1 jobs are supported for every home built, had been verified by the Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe).

The party is to hold a national day of campaigning on housing policy on Saturday, with hundreds of activists expected at 42 events across Scotland.

Deputy leader Alex Rowley said: "Getting it right on housing can be the key that unlocks so much opportunity for our country; we can tackle poverty and grow the economy by building more homes.

"New analysis shows that our plan to build 60,000 homes over the next five years will sustain thousands of jobs.

"The SNP government in Edinburgh have turned a housing shortage into a housing crisis.

"Scotland has more than 150,000 people on social waiting lists, an unacceptable amount of private tenants living in poverty, whilst three-quarters of non-owners feel they will never own a home.

"That's why Scottish Labour is promising bold and radical action in every area of housing.''

Alongside the pledge for new homes, 45,000 of which would be for social rent, a Scottish Labour government would ban "rip-off'' rent rises in the private sector and give first-time buyers £3,000 towards their deposit.

The party said analysis suggests the measure would help about 17,200 first-time buyer transactions a year.

Mr Rowley added: "After nearly a decade in office and a majority in parliament, the SNP have been managerial on housing.

"Labour's bold housing plan would build a fairer nation and a stronger Scotland.''

SNP MSP Mark McDonald accused Scottish Labour of a "notoriously poor record'' on housing when in office.

He said: "Labour's latest housing proposal cannot be taken seriously as there is no suggestion of what this will cost or how it will be funded.

"By contrast, the SNP has a strong track record on housing and an ambitious plan for the future.

"We have exceeded our commitment to build 30,000 affordable homes over this parliament and, if re-elected, we'll build at least 50,000 more in the next parliament - an investment of over £3 billion.

"The Social Justice Secretary has also announced £160 million to help people get on and up the housing ladder. This funding won't just boost home-ownership but will also boost house building - creating jobs and supporting economic growth.''