EVERYONE deserves a warm and healthy home.

This Christmas, we have to address this broken housing system across Glasgow that is resulting in families unable to find a home big enough, and renters caught up in poor housing conditions.

Scottish Green councillors support calls for significant investment needed to address Glasgow’s housing emergency. We know that urgent action is needed to stop rough sleeping and prevent further tragic loss of life.  

Following the disastrous UK Government mini budget of 2022, the housing market has been struggling against inflationary pressures, as well as the devastating impact of Brexit on construction costs and recruitment of the necessary workforce.  

With capital budgets tightly constrained, the supply pipeline of new housing, with associated affordable units, is getting restricted. Housing associations have struggled to meet demand with new building and refurbishments. The number of those who are looking for social housing is far outstripping the number of homes available.  

We have to support calls on the UK Government to immediately uprate Local Housing Allowance, end the spare room subsidy, or the bedroom tax, and reverse the planned real terms reduction to Scotland’s capital budget.  

Green councillors are continuing to support work on the delivery of the recommendations of the Scottish Government’s Temporary Accommodation Task and Finish Group.  

We have to engage with the consultation process to develop the proposals for a Housing Bill, with stronger tenants’ rights and powers to prevent homelessness. We know that rent controls are vital as a positive step in making renting, in particular in the private sector, more affordable and will incentivise improvements to housing conditions across the city.  

Bringing vacant properties back into use is crucial. The development of the affordable housing supply programme to support a national housing acquisition plan is essential.  

Any housing investment has to also focus on the fact that the energy systems that are used across most properties still involve gas. We know now that the use of fossil fuels needs to be phased out. This is not just for the climate but to help households avoid the volatility of global fossil fuel markets which care only for profit, not people.

Scottish Greens in government are taking forward plans for change to ensure that clean heat will replace fossil fuels in all our buildings.  

We have to pursue all available routes to address the homelessness crisis with the Scottish Government, as well as the Home Office and UK Government. There has to be joined-up working between people involved in health, social care, housing and homelessness planning.  

There is an unsustainable pressure on homelessness services. Through Cosla, it is possible for councils to work together to respond effectively to end homelessness. Councillors must push for actions which increase housing supply and maximise the use of current housing stock.  

Clearly, the best approach to end homelessness is to prevent it from happening in the first place. There is a need to maintain a strong focus on investing in tenancy sustainment services alongside measures to protect tenants’ rights and avoid evictions into homelessness.