The SNP has pledged to empower local authorities to help young people find permanent homes in rural and island communities.
A Rented Sector Strategy will also set out how tenants will enjoy greater protection from unreasonable rent increases by allowing councils to apply a rent cap in pressured areas giving people affordable choices when renting.
The SNP will also set out plans to ensure young people are able to buy or rent a home.
To this end, North Ayrshire Council will be given powers to take steps to protect housing for permanent residents who will live and work in their communities, where pressure on housing is high and there are large numbers of second homes, such as Arran and Cumbrae.
The SNP will also review the Additional Dwelling Supplement, a tax paid on second homes, to ensure it operates in a way that supports the provision of homes for people to live in.
As part of the SNP’s Housing to 2040 strategy, a Tenant Participation Panel for the private rented sector will put tenants at the heart of decisions around their property such as improving standards and services.
SNP Housing Minister Kevin Stewart said:
“We must help young people to stay or settle in our rural communities, who are often priced out by second home owners.
“Scottish Ministers will work with local authorities to ensure there is housing for permanent residents in places where high levels of second home ownership is preventing young people from remaining and working in their communities.
“We are putting investment into our island communities by supporting North Ayrshire Council with £2,380,000 to build 34 council houses at Brathwic Terrace in Brodick; and have awarded £3,612,000 to Arran Development Trust to build 43 houses in Lamlash.”
Kenneth Gibson added:
“Having represented rural and island communities for the past 14 years and worked to attract affordable housing developments to both islands, I am familiar with the difficulties faced by young people who are keen to stay and work on their home island.
“New homes will also create and sustain construction jobs on Arran.
“This is a great time to start thinking of measures to help attract more working age people to remain and choose to live on our islands and ensure they thrive.
“By increasing affordable options and giving North Ayrshire more powers, a re-elected SNP Government will work to reinvigorate our rural and island economies as we emerge from a period of isolation.”
To implement the rent cap and Rented Sector Strategy into law, if re-elected, the SNP Government will present a Housing Bill in the next parliament, so to ensure tenants receive greater protection, it has to be #Both Votes SNP.