Scottish Government minister accepts Highland housing summit invitation

The Scottish Government’s Housing Minister will come to the Highlands for a summit with key stakeholder groups after accepting an invitation from Kate Forbes MSP to visit.

Earlier today (7 June) the MSP for Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch raised the shortage of affordable homes across the region in the Scottish Parliament during General Questions.

After responding to her concerns in the chamber, Housing Minister Kevin Stewart agreed to come to her constituency to discuss the matter in more detail.

The MSP for Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch has scores of housing cases across her vast constituency, and anticipates more Scottish Government-funded homes becoming available by 2021 based on the 50,000 target.

Last week a Highland Council report highlighted the general “upward” trend of homelessness on the Isle of Skye which was creating “considerable difficulties for the housing team”, whilst over in Badenoch people can struggle to get on the housing ladder because house prices dwarf the median local wage.

Kate Forbes MSP said: “I know that the Minister recognises the need for affordable housing. It is foundational to everything else we do – education, jobs and healthcare.

“He has been hugely supportive of efforts in the Highlands to increase the number of affordable homes. I look forward to welcoming him to the Highlands to discuss affordable housing.

“If we are serious about reversing the trends of depopulation in the Highlands, then it starts with affordable housing.

“The gap between average salaries and average house prices in the Highlands is eye-wateringly large. That needs to be reduced, particularly in light of the tourism market.

“I’m sure there will be plenty to discuss when the Minister visits.”

More details on the summit will be released in due course.

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