The constituency MSP for Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch has said she is pleased that the Scottish Government Housing Minister recognises the unique challenges in rural areas after he visited the West Highlands earlier today (21 August).
Along with Kate Forbes MSP, Kevin Stewart visited affordable homes projects at Kyleakin on Skye, Kyle of Lochalsh and Fort William as well as meeting with Marine Harvest and the Lochaber Chamber of Commerce.
Ms Forbes, who this week will complete a month-long summer tour of her vast constituency, said that housing continued to be a pressing need for people across the Highlands and that she was keen to find solutions “to reverse the trends of recent years”.
Kate Forbes MSP said: “I invited the Housing Minister to the constituency because of the critical need for affordable housing. I’ve just come to the end of my summer tour and so many people raised it with me.
“Yes, in part we need to build more affordable homes and that is happening with 200 new affordable homes being built in Skye and Lochalsh, and triple that planned for Lochaber.
“But we need to protect these homes from being turned into holiday homes or being sold at market rates which are beyond the reach of local families.
“Without intervention, we are at risk of losing key employees, young families and jeopardising entire industries who can’t recruit for lack of housing.
“I know the Housing Minister recognises the need - that’s why he has a target of 50,000 new affordable homes over the course of this parliamentary term and why he is visiting the constituency in the first place.
“It’s a very difficult nut to crack, but I’m under no illusions as to the seriousness of the issue.
“I’m delighted that the Housing Minister is travelling to the West Highlands and I hope together we can identify solutions that will reverse the trends we’ve seen in recent years.”