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Scottish 'housing divide' reinforces need for investment in quality affordable homes

The findings show a divide between homeowners and older people whose homes are more likely to meet required standards compared to younger people and renters.

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New research published yesterday reveals that 1 in 3 homes in Scotland do not meet people's expectations of what a good home should be, with a stark housing divide between generations and between renters and owners.

From 12 January to 8 March this year, 1140 people in Scotland were asked to rate their home against the Living Home Standard, which was developed by the public across the UK to define what a good home should provide. It is based on five ‘dimensions’: Affordability, Decent Conditions, Space, Stability and Neighbourhood. To fully meet the Living Home Standard, people’s homes must satisfy all five dimensions.

The results showed that 34% of Scottish homes failed on one dimension or more and, damningly, it showed that young people, families with children, renters and people on low incomes are most likely to live in homes that don’t meet the new standard.

Shelter Scotland, which commissioned the research by Ipsos MORI as part of its 50th anniversary activities, says the findings show a divide between homeowners and older people whose homes are more likely to meet the standard compared to younger people and renters.

‘Affordability’ and ‘Decent Conditions’ were the two key areas where people’s homes failed most often - with an 18% failure rate on each. 8% failed on having adequate space, 6% failed on stability and 3% on neighbourhood. One in ten homes failed on more than one of these five core dimensions.

Launching the landmark report, Adam Lang, Head of Communications and Policy at Shelter Scotland, said:

“This report shows us that 1 in 3 people in Scotland feel that their home fails in at least one of the Living Home Standard’s five key dimensions. It is clear that there is still a long way to go on making housing acceptable for everyone in Scotland - especially regarding decent conditions and affordability.

“The most damning conclusion from this research is the housing divide.  The gap between people’s housing aspirations and what their homes actually provide them with is not evenly spread.  For those who are young, who have children, who rent or have lower incomes, the gap is very much larger.” 

Commenting on the research, SFHA Policy Lead Zhan McIntyre said:

“The Shelter report on the Living Home Standard is an interesting read and reinforces the call SFHA is making for further investment in good quality affordable homes beyond 2021.”