Social housing net zero standard consultation: island communities impact assessment

Island communities impact assessment for the consultation on a new Social Housing Net Zero Standard in Scotland.


1. This is an Islands Communities Impact Assessment for the proposals for a new Social Housing Net Zero Standard in Scotland consultation ('The Consultation').

2. Under the Islands (Scotland) Act 2018[1], Scottish Ministers and other relevant authorities, including a number of public authorities, must complete an Island Communities Impact Assessment (ICIA) and take account of island issues when developing any new policy, strategy or service.

3. Section 13 of the 2018 Act states that an ICIA must:

  • describe the likely significantly different effect of the new standard
  • assess the extent to which the Scottish Ministers consider that the new standard can be developed in such a manner as to improve or mitigate, for island communities, the outcomes resulting from the new standard; and
  • set out the financial implications of steps taken under this subsection to mitigate, for island communities, the outcomes resulting from the new standard.

4. The Islands (Scotland) Act 2018 defines an island community as a community that consists of two or more individuals, all of whom permanently inhabit an island (whether or not the same island), and is based on common interest, identity or geography (including in relation to any uninhabited islands whose natural environment and terrestrial, marine and associated ecosystems contribute to the natural or cultural heritage or economy of an inhabited island).

5. Island rurality can exacerbate inequality already experienced on account of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation. These characteristics are known as "protected characteristics" as defined in the Equality Act 2010. Issues which impact on all islanders to some extent, such as those relating to access to transport or adequate housing for example, may be acutely felt by some groups more than others and require targeted measures in order to redress the inequality experienced. We are publishing a separate Equalities Impact Assessment.

6. The Island Communities Impact Assessments: Guidance And Toolkit[2] sets out an approach for undertaking an ICIA (see diagram below). There is an initial screening stage ('Section 7 assessment'), followed by an additional impact assessment stage ('Section 8 assessment') if required following screening. The third stage is the publication of relevant documents. This document constitutes the ICIA and incorporates screening (A) and impact assessment (B), and it completes the process by being published.

Flowchart defining 7 stages of the ICIA process. Stages 1 to 4 are the screening assessment which will then determine whether a full assessment is required in stages 5 to 7.

A) Screening (Section 7 Assessment)



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