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Housebuilders warn of looming crisis

May 14 2007

Ronnie Jacobs, the new chair of Homes for Scotland, the residential development industry body, has strongly criticised the Scottish Executive for failing to address the issue of housing shortages, at the housebuilders’ AGM.

Jacobs argued that Scotland is on the verge of a housing crisis. “We are simply not providing enough new homes to meet the country’s real needs - that is, to meet latent demand, to house immigrants and to replace aging housing stock,” he said.

Jacobs claims that the Scottish Executive has failed to recognise the part that the private sector can play in addressing Scotland’s housing problems. ”I am determined to ensure that housing is a real focus of attention for the new administration”, he added. Homes for Scotland member companies provide over 90% all new homes in Scotland and the industry is the largest single user of the planning system in Scotland.

Jacobs’ statement coincided with the Homes for Scotland Innovation Awards. Four Scottish house-building companies have won top awards for addressing key issues such as the environment, the provision of affordable housing, community participation and improving customer service. The awards were presented by broadcaster Sally Magnusson and Deputy Chairman of Scottish Natural Heritage, Keith Geddes.

The overall award in the Affordable Homes category went to Persimmon Partnerships Ltd for their development at Garthamlock. The Community Involvement Award went to CALA for their development at Winchburgh, West Lothian where they had worked with local residents and created a website.

The Health and Safety award went to CALA’s ‘Above and Beyond’ campaign and Miller Homes picked up the Customer Satisfaction award. The ‘mymillerstreet’ website has been developed to show the key stages in the construction process and to enable customers to familiarise themselves with their neighbourhood, their neighbours and even their carbon footprint.

The Environment and Sustainability award and the award for innovative use of construction materials and techniques was presented to Taylor Woodrow Developments.

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