More social housing for larger families needs to be built if targets to tackle child poverty are to be met.

The link between housing and poverty was made at the SNP conference and the need for more investment was highlighted.

At a meeting at the SNP conference, it was stated that there are not enough larger homes for big families and suggested that empty homes could be converted to create homes with more bedrooms.

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Sally Thomas of the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations said: “With one in four children living in poverty we have to look at all the levers we can.

Social homes are a crucial part of reducing and addressing poverty. Social housing protects against poverty. Poverty is lower where we have more social homes.”

She said between 10,000 and 20,000 children were kept out of poverty because they were in social housing and not in the private rented sector.

However, she added thousands were stuck in temporary accommodation and said enough homes needed to be built to meet current needs.

Chris Cunningham, Glasgow city councillor for Gascadden/Scotstounhill and convenor for health care and caring in the city, said there was a particular need for larger homes.

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He said: “One of the biggest issues is large families, particularly from immigrant communities.

“We have very few large houses and turnover is low, as people, when they get one, tend to stay for a long time.”

He said it was difficult to address the needs of large families.

Mr Cunningham said: “How does the Scottish Government support housing associations to convert properties to produce housing stock.”

He said it is quicker to convert existing empty properties whereas it takes a long time to build new homes.

Ben Macpherson, SNP MSP and former government minister, noted the different challenges facing social landlords.

He said: “It is also difficult to get housing for single men.

“Glasgow has stock that requires enhancement and regeneration.”

He added:  Every investment in social housing is an investment in infrastructure. It is like a road or a bridge.

“We should see it less as a commodity more as a necessity.”