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SNP Candidate for Na h-Eileanan an Iar, Alasdair Allan, has called for the Islands’ growing need for affordable housing to be a priority in the next Scottish Parliament.

Allan, who held a parliamentary debate at the end of 2020 about this issue, pointed to the pressing need to ensure that young families would still be able to afford to live in the islands in future.

Alasdair Allan commented: “To turn the tide of depopulation and grow our economy, the islands need new people, but they need new people of all ages and backgrounds. That means we need to have houses both to rent and to buy at affordable prices for younger people.

“The SNP Government has made £25 million available to build affordable rented houses in the islands over the last five years, and I would like to see that trend continue after May, with an increased focus on providing more rented houses outside the Stornoway area.

“But we also need to start thinking about what is happening to the market in houses to buy. In many areas, house prices are rising far beyond anything virtually any local family could ever afford, and sometimes houses are being snapped up within days of being advertised. Covid seems to have accelerated this trend.

“Young people in the islands have raised increasing concerns with me about this issue and I hope that we can at least examine some radical solutions in the next parliament. These might include giving local authorities the power to restrict the number of second homes in any community. Or we could look to other countries where the sale of houses in rural areas has been more regulated than it is here.

“In any event, I believe we need to recognise that if we want many communities to continue to be communities, and if we want to see our economy and culture flourish locally, then we need there be places for people of all ages and incomes to live.”

Name of Candidate

Description of Candidate

ALLAN, Alasdair James

Scottish National Party (SNP)

BERKENHEGER, Gavin

The Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

FRASER, Shaun Alexander

Scottish Labour Party

MACMILLAN, Callum Ian

Time for Change

MITCHISON, Neil

Scottish Liberal Democrats