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Labour pledge to solve housing crisis and build 12,000 social rent homes a year

The party says the move would support almost 50,000 jobs in Scotland and boost the proportion of homes available to poorer families.

The Scottish Labour leader has pledged to fix the housing crisis by building 120,000 social rent homes a year, if elected to government.

Richard Leonard accused the SNP of exacerbating the housing shortage and said his party’s plans would increase homes available to poorer families and support almost 50,000 jobs across Scotland.

He announced the policy on a visit to a Parkhead Housing Association site in Glasgow.

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Richard Leonard made the announcement at a Parkhead Housing Association site in Glasgow where he met CEO Jim Strang (Ian Rutherford/PA)

Mr Leonard said: “We need to invest in more social housing as a key way to tackle poverty and grow our economy, that’s why the next Scottish Labour government would aim to build 12,000 homes for social rent every year.

“With 170,000 households stuck on waiting list, we urgently need to start building more homes.

“This is a key part of Labour’s proposals to fix the housing crisis, alongside reform of the private rented sector.

“The SNP government took a housing shortage and turned it into a housing crisis – ending that crisis will be a key step towards building a society that works for the many, not the few.”

The party said the figure is a “long term target” which will be reviewed on a needs basis.

Costs are estimated at £1.7 billion in the first year, shared among government, councils, registered social landlords and other partners.

Figures show 4,629 new build social rent homes were completed in 2017/18.

The Scottish Government plans to build at least 50,000 affordable homes by 2021.

Ministers say the target represents a 67% increase in affordable housing supply, with 35,000 of the 50,000 to be available for social rent.

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