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HOMELESS CHARITY ATTACKS SCOTTISH OFFICE HOUSING CUTS

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Homeless charity Shelter claims that 21,000 more homes in Scotland could have been built had Scottish Office invest...
Homeless charity Shelter claims that 21,000 more homes in Scotland could have been built had Scottish Office investment in housing remained at its 1989 level.

In a report published yesterday, the charity's said that investment in housing has declined in real terms by 26% since 1989.

Shelter say that over the next two years, cuts of 11% in the housing budget are planned by the Scottish Office.

Research and information officer Gavin Corbett said:

'For the first time these figures show how much the housing budget has been cut over the last five years. Housing has suffered more than any other part of public spending. We estimate that, had funding remained at the 1989 level, an additional 21,000 homes could have been built.

'Instead we have rising homelessness and growing waiting lists. Housing has been regarded as a soft target.'

Mr Corbett described this as indefensible and short-sighted, and proposed the charity's plans to counter this.

'Shelter recently set out a planned programme of investment for the next five years which would provide thousands of new affordable homes and bring back into use empty houses. Shelter's programme would create an additional 33,000 jobs in the construction and associated industries.

'A planned programme of investment must be at the heart of tackling homelessness. Cuts in the housing budget are socially unacceptable and economically unsustainable,' Mr Corbett said.

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