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Progress

Progress against meeting SHQS is measured over time in a number of ways (for example, SHCS) and by a number of different public bodies as follows:

Scottish Government: The Scottish House Condition Survey (SHCS)

This survey is the official measure of SHQS progress at national level, as laid out at the time of the introduction of SHQS in 2004. 'SHCS' is not to be confused with the 'SHQS' acronym though, unfortunately, they are very similar.

The SHCS is the only national survey of housing undertaken in Scotland and is managed by the Communities Analytical Services Division of Scottish Government. The survey is continuous (rather than a specific point in time) which combines both an interview with occupants and a physical inspection of dwellings to build a picture of Scotland's occupied housing stock and the characteristics of the people who live in those properties. The Survey covers all types of dwellings across the entire country whether in a rural, suburban or urban setting. It is a cross-tenure survey (i.e. covers social and private housing) and covers all property types (houses and flats split into 8 archetypes). This means that SHQS is actually measured across all tenures despite the fact that the April 2015 policy target only applies to the social rented sector. Thus, it is possible to compare the progress of meeting SHQS between the social rented sector and all other tenures. The SHQS is not a self-assessment survey (see below) and has recently acquired status as an accredited National Statistic.

The SHCS also measures other, more general housing quality indicators such as the number of properties affected by dampness, condensation and disrepair (defined differently however than in SHQS which deals specifically with 'serious' disrepair, the definition of which can be found in Annex B above). Although there is an overlap with SHQS, these other indicators are separate housing quality indicators and will show a different picture of housing quality in Scotland as they are defined differently from SHQS. The main difference is that SHQS has multiple criteria and the elemental approach often requires the presence of a certain feature (e.g. a smoke alarm) as well as requiring something to be in a good state of repair. SHQS is, therefore, a very broad, composite measure of housing quality in Scotland.

The SHCS 'Key Findings' report which includes an analysis of progress on SHQS is published annually in November.

This publication gives a picture over time of how the stock, principally at national level, is moving in terms of SHQS and other housing quality indicators. Information by local authority area by tenure is also available, in 3-year bands (to allow for the effects of small sample sizes), in Table 4.13.

A series of tables have been produced in the Guidance section to show how the social rented stock currently measures up against all of the elements of SHQS.

The Scottish Housing Regulator

The Scottish Housing Regulator (SHR) also monitors the SHQS progress from statistical returns both nationally and for individual RSLs that they complete on a self assessment basis. This information is published for each RSL which also projects its SHQS compliance rate over time.

SHR recently published their annual SHQS progress report which covers a range of issues and is based on self-assessment information from both RSLs and local authority landlords.

Audit Scotland

Audit Scotland requires Statutory Performance Indicator information from local authorities on a wide range of functions that extend well beyond housing and SHQS. Among a number of housing indicators, the SHQS progress of each of the 26 local authorities who operate as social landlords are published in the 'Housing' Tab of the Excel spreadsheet (indicator 15) in the individual links for each local authority.

It is important to note that, like the information published by the Scottish Housing Regulator (for RSLs) and Audit Scotland (for local authority landlords) these statistical returns are made on a self-assessment basis. This means that, unlike the SHCS, the SHQS information across Scotland is not necessarily compiled on a like-for-like basis and depends on the interpretation of SHQS which may vary from landlord to landlord.

The Scottish Social Housing Charter

The Scottish Government is currently consulting on proposals for a Scottish Social Housing Charter. The Charter will set the outcomes that social landlords should be aiming to deliver for their tenants, homeless people and other customers. The Charter will provide the framework against which the Scottish Housing Regulator will assess a landlord's performance. Subject to Parliamentary approval, the Charter will come into effect on 1 April 2012. It is likely to include an outcome on housing quality linked to the SHQS.