Housing Minister urges Scots to identify church land for affordable housing

By staff writers
May 7, 2009

The Housing Minister has urged Scottish churches to identify church owned property where affordable housing could built to help meet chronic shortages.

Scottish Churches Housing Action met the Housing Minister, Alex Neil MSP at the Scottish Parliament yesterday to discuss the need for more affordable homes.

The Minister met the Rev Leslie Morrison, Chairman of Scottish Churches Housing Action, Chief Executive Alastair Cameron and supporter Peter de Vink.

Responding to their comments, Alex Neil said: “You don’t need to persuade me of the need for affordable housing. I’m convinced, and now I’m grappling with the funding issues.”

Mr Neil asked if Scottish Churches Housing Action could help by identifying church-owned property to help address one of the other major problems – the shortage of land on which to build new homes.

Alastair Cameron said: “We were glad to get a chance to meet the Minister and introduce him to our work. He is strongly committed – as are we – to the target that by 2012, almost all homeless people should be entitled to settled housing.

"We are delighted that the Minister so clearly sees the potential of our programme to secure church-owned land for affordable housing and look forward to working with The Scottish Government to carry out audits of what is available in specific areas.”

Scottish Churches Housing Action brings together the major Christian denominations in Scotland under the slogan 'No Room for Homelessness!'

As well as campaigning for the rights of homeless people, it promotes the development of local, volunteer-based, projects to help them and encourages the churches to make land and property available for affordable housing.

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