Date: 31 October 2007
Welcome return to key housing role for councils - UNISON responds
to Government housing announcement
UNISON - Scotland's housing union - today responded to the Deputy
First Minister's announcements on Housing in Scotland, by welcoming
the increased incentives for the housing function of councils.
Dave Watson, UNISON's Scottish Organiser said "We have been saying
for many years that Scotland's housing problems cannot be solved
unless the power and resources to regenerate communities and the
ability to build and manage public sector housing is returned to
local democratic control.
"We are pleased that initial steps are being proposed to continue
and develop councils' landlord role and to put the development of
sustainable communities under democratically accountable, local
control. We will however, need to get further details of what kind
of support is being proposed to authorities who retain their stock.
"But we are concerned that proposals to remove one quango seem
to replace it with a combination of another quango and central control.
We hope that this will not be a missed opportunity to devolve central
functions to local control."
"We are also concerned that the Government seems to have ignored
our members, who have many years of work in providing and managing
social housing, in their announcement. Along with home owners, tenants,
those in housing need, landlords and developers, social housing
staff are stakeholders, and UNISON will ensure that their view comes
But Dave welcomed the abolition of the right-to-buy. "The Government
is also right to say that 'right-to-buy' has damaged the supply
of social housing since its introduction by the Tories."
He said. "It should go, and we would call for its complete removal.
Further Information Please Contact: Dave Watson (Scottish
Organiser - Policy) 07958 122 409(m) Chris Bartter (Communications
Officer) 0771 558 3729(m)