Media Release: Photocall – Shelter Scotland calls for Swinney to bridge the housing gap and ‘make housing matter’

Where: Outside the Scottish Parliament

When: Wednesday 17 November, 2010 at 1pm

What: Shelter Scotland director, Graeme Brown, will hand over postcards signed by members of the public who support the charity’s petition to ‘Make Housing Matter’.

The postcards will be displayed on a giant Shelter Scotland branded red house. He will be joined by case study, Nicola Stevens who will join him in signing up to the campaign by adding her signature to a large petition board. All MSPs have been invited to attend and sign up to the campaign.

Why: The housing charity is aiming to push housing up the political agenda ahead of the Scottish budget being announced on Wednesday and in the run up to the Scottish parliamentary elections.

Shelter Scotland will be urging MSPs to sign up to its Make Housing Matter petition ahead of Wednesday’s Scottish Budget.

Thousands across Scotland have already signed up to the campaign, which aims to push housing to the top of the political agenda and to emphasise that the Scottish Parliament has real choices about how it spends its Budget.

The charity wants Finance Minister, John Swinney, to prioritise investment in affordable housing and defer major works such as the building of the Forth Replacement Crossing.

The charity’s call follows reports last week that Mr Swinney plans to prioritise capital expenditure in the Budget. Investment in building new homes would be an important move that would help protect jobs and help pull Scotland out of the economic doldrums.

Graeme Brown, director of Shelter Scotland, the housing and homelessness charity, said:

“Our campaigning in Dundee, Glasgow and Kilmarnock, has garnered tremendous support from members of the public and politicians who have backed our call to ‘Make Housing Matter’.

“So, now is the time for John Swinney and all the politicians in the Scottish Parliament to make the hard choices.

“A saving of just 20 per cent on the £2.34 billion price tag of the planned new Forth bridge, could deliver more than 18,500 new homes which could house up to 60,000 people (2).

“We urge Mr Swinney to choose to build new homes for the 160,000 households stuck on house waiting lists and postpone building the replacement crossing.

“Investing in more affordable homes would deliver the triple bottom line of creating a public asset, generating jobs and providing greatly needed homes for the thousands of families desperately waiting for one.”


Notes to Editors:

1.     Shelter Scotland, the housing and homelessness charity. Shelter Scotland believes that everyone should have a home. We help people find and keep a home. We campaign for decent housing for all.

2.     Calculated on the basis of a cost of £25,000 per council house subsidy grant.

3.     Spokespeople are available for interview, telephone the media office on 0844 515 2442. An ISDN line number is available for broadcast interviews.

4.     For more information about Shelter Scotland visit

5.     Follow Shelter Scotland on Facebook –

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Contact: Neil Baldwin, Nicola Baxter
Phone: 0844 515 2442