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ONS Announce Reclassification Decision

Following the enactment of the Housing (Amendment) (Scotland) Act 2018, the Office of National Statistics (ONS) confirmed on Friday 28 September that housing associations and co-operatives in Scotland have been reclassified as private.  

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This decision effectively reverses ONS’ previous ruling in September 2016 when Registered Social Landlords (RSLs) were classified as public for the purposes of the national accounts, and comes after close liaison between the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA) and Scottish Government.  

ONS has made similar decisions in England (November 2017) and Wales (August 2018) to re-establish the sector as private in other parts of the UK.

Sally Thomas, SFHA Chief Executive said:

We are delighted that ONS has reclassified housing associations and co-operatives in Scotland as private bodies once more. Had RSLs remained public, it could have meant housing association assets and liabilities would have gone onto the Scottish Government books, possibly meaning that there was an element of Government control over any future housing association borrowing.

“This decision protects the independence of the sector, ensuring an environment where our members can maximise private finance in order to develop much needed affordable housing in Scotland alongside Scottish Government.”

Full details of ONS Decision are available here.