Letter: Home neglect

Last year around 6,500 new affordable homes were completed in Scotland. At that rate, with Shelter estimating that there are about 160,000 households on waiting lists for council or housing association houses, it will take nearly a quarter of a century to close the gap between supply and demand.

We cannot expect families to wait that long for a home, yet there seems little sign that Scotland's housing crisis is being meaningfully addressed. Spending on affordable housing in 2011-2 is set to fall by around a third on the previous year's total.

Housing has a crucial part to play in the country's wellbeing. It influences the environment, education, health, crime and - with every new home built supporting four jobs across various trades - the economy.

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Failure to grasp the nettle now, and commit meaningful financial resources to affordable housing, will not only let down thousands of households, it will miss an opportunity to give much-needed support to the construction industry, a sector that employs 8 per cent of Scotland's working population and accounts for around 9 per cent of our economy.

Andy Mallice

Managing director Scotland, ISG Construction

Stepps, Glasgow