Third of Scottish homes do not meet standard public demands

One in five renters said they could not meet rent without regularly missing out on social activities (Lynne Cameron/PA) Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

More than a third of homes in Scotland do not meet public perceptions of good housing, a new survey suggests.

The research by Ipsos Mori for Shelter Scotland found 34% of people said their home did not meet its new “living home standard”, which is based on public views of what good housing should provide.

The housing charity drew up a list of 39 essential or desirable attributes split across five areas – affordability, decent conditions, space, stability and neighbourhood.

In order to reach the standard, households must think their home meets all of the essential attributes and a minimum number of the desirable standards.

The research found that for the 1,140 people polled, affordability and conditions were the top reasons for homes failing the standard, with an 18% failure rate in each area.

Young people, families with children, renters and people on low incomes were most likely to live in homes that did not meet the new standard.

One in five renters said they could not meet rent without regularly missing out on social activities while a quarter of those renting privately were in homes with mould or damp.

Adam Lang, head of communications and policy at Shelter Scotland, said: “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.

“A fairer Scotland needs to address the divide highlighted in this research. I believe it offers an opportunity to think about the next big horizons in housing.

“Not just how many homes, but how those homes are within the reach of those who need them most.  Not just better standards, but how those standards are delivered on the ground. And not just better legal protection, but how that empowers people to insist their housing rights are met.”

Ipsos Mori interviewed 1,140 adults aged 16+ in Scotland between January 12 and March 8.

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “We agree that everyone should live in a safe, warm home that meets their needs and they can afford – 98% of all homes in Scotland currently meet minimum statutory standards.

“In the social housing sector, landlords invested over £3 billion from 2007 to 2015 on improvements that have resulted in 94% of social homes meeting the Scottish Housing Quality Standard.

“Equally there has been a marked and sustained improvement in the quality of privately rented homes over the past decade and we will further improve standards in this sector later this year, ensuring that every private tenant can live in a safe and good quality home.”