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Scotland election 2016: What the parties propose on housing

There has been a notable rise in Scottish property sales and prices in recent months, although activity in the market has slowed of late due to mounting uncertainty surrounding the upcoming Scottish Parliament election and EU referendum.

Voters in Scotland go to the polls today to pick their next MSPs. But where do the parties stand on housing? 

Scottish National Party

The SNP has vowed to develop 50,000 new affordable houses over the next five years, 35,000 of which will be for social rent. The party will also restore entitlement to housing support for 18-21 year olds, while also encouraging more people to use the new Housing and Property Tribunal by scrapping costs to use the service.

Scottish Labour

With plans to build 60,000 affordable homes over the next five years - 45,000 of which will be for social rent through a council or housing association - and a desire to double the deposit of a first time buyer so that a couple each saving £100 per month can expect to have a £15,000 deposit after three years, Scottish Labour hope to make the cost of renting more affordable, while also helping more people gain a first foot on the housing ladder. The party also wants to get tough on unscrupulous landlords and introduce a Warm Homes Act to ensure every home is warm and free from damp. 

Scottish Conservative

The Scottish Conservative predict that they will beat Labour into third place for the first time in the history of the Holyrood parliament, thanks in part to its plans for housing, which includes a proposal to develop in excess of 100,000 new homes in Scotland over the course of the next parliament, about half of which would be classed as affordable. The party also wants to reintroduce Right to Buy in Scotland, ring-fence all funds raised for future social house building and set a fresh target for every home to have an energy efficiency rating of "C" or better by the end of the decade. 

Scottish Liberal Democrats

Led by party leader, Willie Rennie, the Lib Dems want to step up efforts to tackle fuel poverty and create warmer homes, increase the supply of much needed affordable homes by 50,000 over the next parliament; 40,000 of which would be for social rent rather than purchase. 

Scottish Green Party

The Greens say that they will help councils acquire land cheaply with a view to building more homes, develop at least 12,000 social properties per annum, tax owners of derelict land and use the money raised to build significantly more homes in Scotland. 

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