News

A new standard for housing

Published: 14 Mar 2021 00:01

Ensuring equal quality of homes.

Plans for a new legal requirement for all homes to meet the same standards will be included in a major national housing strategy to be published this week.

The new Housing Standard, applying to all tenures, is an important element of Housing to 2040, which will set the path for how Scotland’s homes and communities should look and feel in 2040

The new standard will create a single set of quality and accessibility standards, no matter whether a home is owned or rented.

Communities Secretary Aileen Campbell said:

“Everyone living in Scotland is entitled to a warm, comfortable and safe place to live.

“That’s why we will develop a new Housing Standard which will be aligned to standards for energy efficiency and heating, meeting expectations for housing as a human right and delivering homes that underpin health and wellbeing. This will cover all homes, new and existing, with no margins of tolerance for sub-standard accommodation. Importantly we will also enshrine the Standard in law.

“The Scottish Government will work with local authorities, registered social landlords, private landlords and communities to drive improvements to the quality of all homes so that everyone is living in good quality accommodation, regardless of whether they own it or rent it from a private or social landlord. Our existing homes need to keep pace with new homes to ensure no one is left behind.”

Following consultation, and subject to the outcome of the election, the Scottish Government will publish a draft Standard in 2023 and introduce legislation in 2024-25, for phased introduction between 2025 and 2030, recognising that different types of homes in different places may need more or less time to achieve compliance.

Background

Housing to 2040 will be published by the Scottish Government this week.

The current Tolerable Standard for housing, introduced in 1969 and added to periodically since then, sets out minimum requirements for habitation. But depending on the tenure of a home, owners and landlords will work towards different quality requirements with separate mechanisms for enforcement. There are also exceptions in some local circumstances, such as homes in rural areas, agricultural properties or hard to treat buildings.