2005-08-30

Stats: Most People Want Affordable, Safe Homes

Almost half of people in Scotland think living in a safe area and being settled in their home is more important than owning their property. According to a poll carried out on behalf of housing charity 'Shelter', only 19 per cent of people said owning their own home was the most important factor. The 'YouGov' survey found that 32 per cent of respondents said the most important aspect to a home was feeling safe. And 15 per cent said having somewhere for the long term was top of their list. For its report 'Home Truths: the Reality Behind our Housing Aspirations', 'Shelter' spoke to people across Britain, particularly those on low incomes, about what they really want in a home. The focus groups found that many people prioritised security, space and affordability above getting on the property ladder for themselves and their children. In Scotland, 12 per cent said that having an affordable home was top of their priorities. When asked what they wanted for their children, feeling safe in their neighbourhood came top of the list for 69 per cent, followed by it being affordable for 64 per cent and ownership for 32 per cent. Ms.Liz. Nicholson, 'Shelter Scotland' director, said:
'Our research found that people's first priority for themselves and their children is not home ownership -- but having a safe, decent home they can afford. 'To meet everyone's housing aspirations, "The Scottish Executive" needs to look beyond current housing policies on home ownership. 'They must remain committed to providing good quality affordable homes for rent, look to keep those we already have and bring them up to a good state of repair. 'They also need to protect tenants in the private rented sector from rogue landlords through the current housing bill. 'Our research shows that housing policy which does not idealise home ownership will benefit everyone -- and go a long way to ensure that everyone in Scotland really can have a home.'
'Extra investment' A Scottish Executive spokesman said ministers would be investing 1_200_million_GBP in affordable housing over the next three years. This was an extra investment of 312_million_GBP over current levels, to tackle the demands for affordable housing in pressured areas and replace and refurbish housing in poor quality neighbourhoods.
'We have increased our three-year target for the supply of affordable homes from 18_000 to 21_500 -- to support economic growth and make sure people have the choices that meet their needs,' he added.
Scottish Socialist Party leader Mr.Colin Fox said:
'Homelessness is at a record level, and even professional workers like firefighters, teachers and nurses are unable to afford a roof over their heads in our major cities. '"New Labour" have perpetuated the myth that home ownership is the only answer. 'Yet this survey shows that despite the propaganda war against social housing, there is still demand for good quality, affordable housing for rent.'
'Owning property 'not important' ', BBC News, 2005-08-29 23:07 UTC

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