The main issue for housing in Scotland remains the shortage of homes. In our document Funding and building the homes Scotland needs (March 2013) UNISON Scotland has outlined a proposal developed with assistance from the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations to finance social housing in Scotland with investment from local authority pension funds.
Rent control In order to ensure that private sector tenants can have secure and affordable homes, a proper system of rent control – along with improved regulation of landlords and decent housing standards – is required.
Devolution of Housing Benefit UNISON Scotland supports the devolution of Housing Benefit, along with Council Tax Benefit, which should be administered through local authority housing departments. It is difficult to fully influence housing policy without control over housing benefit.
Improving our housing requires more than just the regulatory reform as proposed by the current bill. The housing crisis requires a massive programme of social housing investment from the public sector. UNISON Scotland has made a series of recommendations in our recent housing policy publications Making Homes for a Fairer Scotland June 2013 and Funding and building the homes Scotland needs March 2013 which we urge the committee to consider.