NEW HOUSING CONSTRUCTION DROPS BY HALF IN JUST A YEAR – OVER SEVEN TIMES THE SCOTTISH AVERAGE

NEW HOUSING CONSTRUCTION DROPS BY HALF IN JUST A YEAR – OVER SEVEN TIMES THE SCOTTISH AVERAGE

NEW FIGURES REVEAL SCALE OF LOCAL HOUSING CRISIS AS NEW HOME BUILDS PLUMMET

Local Labour politicians have said Dumfries and Galloway is in the midst of a housing crisis, as new figures reveal that the number of new builds starting in the region has dropped by a half in the space of just a year.

Official Scottish Government figures show that in 2011 there were 226 new houses started in Dumfries and Galloway, down 46% from the 420 started in 2010. Since the SNP came to power in 2007, new starts in our region have plummeted by two thirds. The number of new homes being constructed in the region is now at its lowest since at least 1996, when the unitary authority was formed.

These figures are considerably worse than Scotland as a whole – between 2010 and 2011 new house starts across the country fell by only 6%. This means that the reduction in new building work in Dumfries and Galloway (46%) is over seven times greater than across the country as a whole.

Reacting to the figures, Dumfriesshire MSP and Scottish Labour’s Shadow Housing Minister, Elaine Murray, said:

“These figures reveal the scale of the housing crisis facing Dumfries and Galloway. We are in desperate need of new homes, but there has been a collapse in new houses being started. Since the SNP came to power in 2007, the number of new builds starting in our region has plummeted by two thirds.

“The number of new builds in our region has dropped by half in just a year, which is over seven times greater than the reduction across Scotland as a whole over the same period. Dumfries and Galloway is being hit harder than most other parts of the country and we are crying out for investment. This makes it all the more shameful that the SNP constantly overlook Dumfries and Galloway.”

Dumfries and Galloway MP Russell Brown said:

“Shortage of housing is one the main problems local people face and I have had families come to me with truly heart breaking stories of not being able to get a suitable home. Too many people live in cramped or inadequate housing and the only way to solve that is to build more social housing and affordable homes in our area. But with the lowest number of new homes being built since at least 1996, the problems of lack of housing looks set to get worse.

“The SNP’s housing cuts have devastated the construction sector, and we have seen many examples locally of the consequence of this lack of demand, with firms like R&D collapsing. Rather than crush our local economy with even more cuts, we need the SNP Government to come forward urgently with plans to kick start home building and throw a lifeline to the construction sector.”

ENDS

CONTACT – ANDREW MACKENZIE 07769206856

NOTES TO EDITORS

1. Figures are for all sectors new build starts.

2. Reduction in last 12 months

Dumfries and Galloway - Reduction of 46%

2011 – 226
2010 – 420

Scotland as a whole – Reduction of 6%

2011 – 13, 569
2010 – 14,449

3. Reduction since SNP came to power

Dumfries and Galloway – Reduction of 67%

2011 – 226
2007 – 687

4. See document for full figures - New House Building – All Sectors