Letters: Government must show an appetite for construction

The Innovation and Investment Fund (Funds boost for affordable home works, News, September 16) represents an important short-term boost for the affordable housing sector in Scotland.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 21st September 2011, 3:43 pm

The Innovation and Investment Fund (Funds boost for affordable home works, News, September 16) represents an important short-term boost for the affordable housing sector in Scotland.

However, it must be conceded this isn’t a long-term solution, simply a sticking plaster over a growing problem.

Port of Leith Housing Association’s share of funding will allow us to build more than 140 homes, a mixture of social and mid-market rent, and, while the impact of this boost to Edinburgh’s housing supply should not be underestimated, the demand continues to far outstrip what we have the resources to build.

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The £50 million sum announced by the Scottish Government is significant, but the sector as a whole in Scotland has estimated we need more than £200m a year in order to meet the demand there is for affordable housing.

There is an immediate pressing and ever-growing need which we cannot afford to ignore.

More than just bricks and mortar, good quality housing is intrinsically linked to the positive health, social and economic performance of the country and as such should remain a key priority for the Scottish Government.

We are delighted to have been awarded this sum to build good quality, environmentally efficient homes in communities people want to live in and this supply boost does offer a glimmer of hope.

We must keep working together to find innovative solutions in order to deal with this issue before it turns into a crisis.

Keith Anderson, chief executive, Port of Leith Housing Association, Constitution Street, Leith, Edinburgh

SNP should have faith in adults

THE Alex Salmond for First Minister Party is about to extend the franchise to 16-year-olds for the referendum on independence, presumably because it cannot trust adults to deliver the result it desires. The Nationalist need to get the kids on to the electoral register accounts for the delay in bringing on the referendum.

Putting the future of Scotland in the hands of children does rather smack of desperation, doesn’t it?

One of the unfortunate by-products of our increasing longevity is that childhood, too, has been greatly extended – you only have to look at the numbers of bemused 30-somethings stumbling around the Grassmarket on Saturday nights to realise that.

It would be better for us all if, instead of extending the voting age southwards, Alex put his faith, for once, in the adult population and restricted the referendum to real adults – those over the age of 40.

You never know – the SNP might even get a surprise.

David Fiddimore, Nether Craigwell, Calton Road, Edinburgh

Park group are pathetic people

WHAT pathetic, obnoxious, selfish, people the members of the Portobello Park Action Group are!

They would deny the present pupils of Portobello High School the right to be educated in a building fit for purpose, rather than the present, disgraceful, run-down, wholly inadequate building!

They should be ashamed of their disgraceful attitude towards a whole generation of Portobello children, whose whole future could be blighted if the provision of a new school is delayed indefinitely.

Alistair Miller, Clackmae Road, Edinburgh

Do perks still go with top jobs?

SINCE the harsh economic times in which we live show no signs of abating, I wonder if those in high-powered governmental positions are themselves feeling the pinch.

For example, is the taxpayer still paying to the tune of millions year on year for privileges such as expensive chauffeur-driven cars, even more expensive “ministerial” trips to far-flung places and no doubt a host of other perks which “come” with the job, or have all these luxuries been scaled down to suit the times in which we now live?

Angus McGregor, Albion Road, Edinburgh