1 Introduction and Approach
1.1 This report provides an analysis of responses to a Scottish Government consultation on affordable housing. The consultation is set out in a document published by the Scottish Government in February 2012: "Affordable Rented Housing: Creating flexibility for landlords and better outcomes for communities". The consultation is based around the following ten proposals:
- To create more flexibility for social landlords to decide who should get priority for their housing.
- To create the flexibility for social landlords to consider an applicant's income when deciding their priority for housing.
- To create the flexibility for social landlords to consider whether an applicant owns property when deciding their priority for housing.
- To change the law to stop living rooms being considered as rooms available for sleeping in.
- To create a qualifying period before anyone can succeed to the tenancy.
- To create the flexibility for social landlords to consider previous antisocial behaviour when deciding an applicant's priority for housing.
- To create the flexibility to allow Short SSTs to be granted in more cases of antisocial behaviour.
- To simplify the eviction process where another court has already considered antisocial behaviour by a tenant or their household.
- To create an initial tenancy for all new affordable rented housing tenants.
- To allow social landlords to use Short SSTs to let intermediate rented housing.
1.2 The consultation document sets out 54 questions based around these ten proposals, including a mixture of qualitative and quantitative questions. The analysis of these responses has been undertaken by ekosgen on behalf of the Scottish Government Communities Analytical Services.
The Consultation Process
1.3 The consultation document went live on 6th February 2012, with the closing date for responses 30th April 2012. In addition to written responses submitted electronically or in hard copy, a facebook page allowed people to respond to question polls and leave comments and seven regional events were held which were based around obtaining feedback on the questions to the ten proposals. This analysis report incorporates all of these feedback mechanisms.
1.4 The following responses to the consultation were obtained:
- Completed questionnaires from 219 individuals or organisations;
- Written responses obtained from 18 organisations, based around all or some of the proposals but not in the questionnaire format;
- Responses from 20 individuals via Facebook;
- Responses to the consultation questions obtained from seven regional workshops which were delivered as part of the consultation exercise.
1.5 A list of the regional events and written responses are provided in an annex. The table below provides a breakdown of the respondents who completed the 219 questionnaires and 18 written responses.
|Individuals, comprising responses from individuals.||34||14.3|
|Landlord Representative Groups, comprising organisational responses from landlord forums and associations. These responses reflected the views of more than one landlord.||5||2.1|
|Landlords, comprising organisational responses from local authorities with housing stock and social landlords registered with the Scottish Housing Regulator||86||36.3|
|Other Groups, comprising all other organisational responses, including those from local authorities without housing stock as well as housing rights groups, community groups and others; and||43||18.1|
|Tenant Groups, comprising organisational responses from tenant forums, associations and networks;||69||29.1|
1.7 The data from the completed questionnaires was inputted into an Excel database of responses and the quantitative questions were reviewed to understand the scale of support for each of the proposals. This was also undertaken by respondent type to understand any differences in views across the different groups. The next stage involved analysing the responses to the qualitative questions. These were reviewed and for each proposal a thematic framework was developed to code the responses to the qualitative questions according to key themes emerging. All of the responses however were reviewed to ensure that none were overlooked. The key messages under each of the ten proposals were then presented in this report.
1.8 There are a few methodological issues which should be considered in the use of these findings. These are as follows:
- The level of weighting applied to the themes emerging from the qualitative questions is provided for indication purposes only.
- It has only been possible to review the responses to the quantitative questions for those individuals who responded via the questionnaire (219 responses).
- A number of individuals and organisations may have responded to both the questionnaire and provided views at the regional workshops and online via Facebook. Therefore, there are likely to be some views which have been counted twice.
- Not all of the written responses were structured around the 54 questions and ten themes. Where this was the case, these were reviewed and the key messages were apportioned to each of the proposals as appropriate. In addition, the qualitative comments provided at the regional events and via facebook have also been considered in the report.
- The responses to the quantitative questions may vary between those attending the events and those responding via the written questionnaire. There are a few reasons for this. Firstly, the mix of attendees at the regional events was heavily weighted towards landlords and tenants representatives (around 90%). Secondly, the regional events were the first time that many people had viewed and considered the proposals which means that the 'don't know responses' are likely to be higher than from the written responses where there has been time to develop a full, considered response.
1.9 These limitations were discussed with the Social Housing Access and Management Team in the Scottish Government.
1.10 The report has attempted to provide a balance between summarising the key recurring themes from the consultation responses, as well as highlighting the range of views expressed. No weighting has been given to the views of particular groups or organisation however. Therefore, when formulating policy in response to these findings, full written responses should also be considered as appropriate in addition to this report. This is particularly important where bodies represent a large number of individuals or groups, for example the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations, COSLA and the Chartered Institute of Housing.
1.11 The percentages used in all tables in the document are rounded up to the nearest percentage, therefore not all figures may add up to 100% due to rounding. Where percentages are quoted within text referring to the quantitative questions (the yes/no questions), these refer to the percentage of respondents to that question (those who did not respond were excluded). Where percentages are quoted in relation to the qualitative questions (e.g. the benefits, problems and actions), these refer to the percentage of all written responses, including those who did not respond.
1.12 This report is structured around the analysis of responses to each of the ten questions, as follows:
- Chapters 2-11 provide an analysis of both the quantitative and qualitative responses to each of the ten proposals.
- Chapter 12 provides an assessment of the responses to the equalities and business regulatory impact questions.
- Chapter 13 provides a summary of the consultation analysis.
1.13 The consultation questionnaire is provided as an annex.
Email: Alix Rosenberg
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