The Glasgow Guardian spoke to candidate for First Minister, Humza Yousaf, ahead of an event at the GUU.
Candidate for the SNP leadership and first minister, Humza Yousaf has today affirmed his commitment to supporting students speaking to The Glasgow Guardian.
“Affordable housing and access to affordable housing is incredibly important. So, first and foremost, I would commit to building more affordable housing right across the country – and we’ve got a target of 100,000 by 2032″, said Mr Yousaf.
“But secondly, I’ve already announced a policy where we give local authorities the ability to buy back empty properties and put them into the socially rented sector. I think there’s more we can do also in relation to some of the high energy costs that students are facing as well, so that’ll be one of my immediate priorities if I’m elected as First Minister.”
A recent NUS Scotland report showed that the average purpose-built student accommodation rent had increased by 34% since 2018. The housing crisis has so far seen students living long distances from campus and the University housing students in hotels.
Humza Yousaf has also pledged to launch a £1 million fund to support community projects tackling the cost-of-living support.
Yousaf also discussed the importance he places on young people in his politics: “For me, [young people] are the heart of our movement, but importantly, they are the future of our country. One of the proudest things that I think we’ve ever done in the Scottish government is to allow [16 and 17-year-olds] to vote and to make sure that they’re not disenfranchised when it comes to Scottish parliamentary elections.”
A former University of Glasgow student himself, Humza Yousaf was returning this morning to attend an event held by Glasgow University SNP supporters. Yousaf, along with Kate Forbes and Ash Reagan, is running to be leader of the SNP and First Minister of Scotland after the sudden resignation of Nicola Sturgeon last month. Recent polling has placed him in the lead.
Ballots for the SNP leadership will open to members on 13 March and close on 27 March, with the winner to be announced the same day.