Housing to 2040: stakeholder engagement report 2018

A report on stakeholder feedback received following an initial phase of stakeholder engagement in autumn 2018, and an outline of next steps for housing to 2040. 

This document is part of a collection

2. Outputs from the launch event

2.1 Introduction

1. Senior housing stakeholders were invited to take part in a launch event co-hosted by the Scottish Government, COSLA and JHPDG in Edinburgh on 25 September 2018. The event was hosted by the Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Local Government, Aileen Campbell MSP, the Minister for Local Government, Housing and Planning, Kevin Stewart MSP, Councillor Elena Whitham, COSLA's then Community Well-being Spokesperson, and Tom Barclay and Lesley Fraser, co-chairs of the JHPDG.

2. The objectives of the launch event were:

  • To launch the discussion on Housing Beyond 2021, building on the Programme for Government commitment to begin work on a vision for how our homes and communities should look and feel in 2040 and the options and choices to get there.
  • To engage stakeholders in framing a shared vision of housing in 2040 and to bring this to life for citizens.
  • To engage stakeholders in thinking about the milestones to get to 2040, thereby helping to inform the range of options for Scottish Ministers to consider.

3. The event was based around the Rapid Reflection Framework (RRF), developed by the Scottish Government to build a rich picture of the past, present and possible futures of housing in Scotland. The RRF enabled participants to develop a picture of the historical narratives which led to the current paradigm in order to understand better what lies ahead. It also helped participants to state their views and assumptions explicitly and bring important differences to the surface for discussion.

4. The first half of the event focused on the history of housing development in Scotland and the current situation, both achievements and current challenges. The purpose was to ensure that the discussion about the future was well-informed in terms of the starting point for change. Delegates reviewed a timeline, beginning in 1900 and running to 2018, covering: policies and events, impact of events, and longer term trends in housing stock, regulation and wider socioeconomics. They also reviewed and amended a situation report of current issues (see section 2.2). This highlighted current structural conditions such as people's attitudes, political environment, policy, governance, economic challenges and climate change.

5. In the second half of the event, delegates were invited to begin to develop a vision for our homes and communities in 2040 and identify the key milestones to get there (see sections 2.3 and 2.4). They were prompted to do this by considering possible futures through "strategic sliders". Each slider described polar opposite scenarios for the housing system and enabled delegates to explore where they think we are now and where on the spectrum they want to be in the future. For example, one strategic slider explored views around housing and wealth. On that slider, one extreme is that houses are purely for living in and the other extreme is houses as purely a means to generate or maintain wealth. Discussion was generated by populating and exploring these sliders and the related draft principles (set out in the discussion paper).

2.2 Situation report: current issues

1. This section summarises the points raised by delegates at the Housing Beyond 2021 launch event around the various challenges the Scottish housing system faces today. Delegates were provided with specific prompts, categorised under the four housing and regeneration outcomes[6], and were asked to provide comments. In addition to the four outcomes, delegates were also asked to consider "structural conditions" to take into account any factors outside of the housing system which may have an impact on it[7].

Structural conditions

In response to the following prompts: Delegates noted:
  • Continuing austerity and tight fiscal outlook.
  • Housing market as a driver of inequality?
  • Relatively weak consumer voice?
  • Bank of England and other regulators had a cautious approach.
  • Tight controls on mortgage regulation stopped some people getting a mortgage.
  • Developer economics and land ownership.
  • Owners' ability to pay for common repairs or improvements on former council estates.
  • Economy impacts housing but housing also impacts economy (spending debt consumption, wealth).
  • Disagreement on strength of consumer voice.
In response to the following prompts: Delegates noted:
  • Risk of unintended consequences.
  • Delivering for remote rural and islands communities.
  • There was a disconnect between government policy and what was delivered, with a perceived postcode lottery of services.
  • Current policies were deterring Private Rented Sector (PRS) landlords from continuing to supply affordable rented housing.
  • Educational investment in apprenticeships.
  • Housing policies could counteract Brexit, particularly at local economy level.
In response to the following prompts: Delegates noted:
  • Important economic levers are reserved.
  • Council areas create artificial barriers?
  • Risk of public sector financial silos.
  • Risk aversion.
  • Lack of funding for local authorities with consequences for staff levels in planning, building control, roads etc. which was restricting supply. Health and housing needed to consider a shared budget.
Attitudes and Expectations
In response to the following prompts: Delegates noted:
  • Aspirations to security, wealth and customisation of a home.
  • Misconceptions about social housing and tenants.
  • Presumption against shared living.
  • Ageing population.
  • Young people unable to achieve their housing aspirations.
  • Housing was viewed as a safe pension investment, rather a unique aspect of life and a human right and this was a reason why supply did not meet need.
  • Cultural attitudes to tenure types (including expectation of social housing).
  • Shared living: people willing to accept more intergenerational living?
  • Needs of ethnic minority older people who were ageing with complex needs; current services were not meeting their needs.
  • How to make housing an interesting career choice?
  • Attitudes would change over time and could be influenced.
  • We needed a proper gendered analysis of how the housing system worked and the disadvantages faced by women.
  • Disconnect between people looking for housing and those not wanting to live beside new housing. How to manage that?
Climate Change
In response to the following prompts: Delegates noted:
  • Existing housing.
  • New build.
  • One Non-Departmental Public Body was perceived as potential barrier to development.
  • Energy efficiency measures were needed (not "eco bling") that worked with how people actually used their homes.

High quality, sustainable homes

In response to the following prompts: Delegates noted:
  • Building regulations and fire safety.
  • Levels of enforcement?
  • Measuring energy performance.
  • Barriers to enforce changes in the owner-occupier sector.
  • Electrical safety in older homes with the need to upgrade fuse boxes etc.
  • User education is essential to improve energy performance, e.g. airtight houses were too hot now.
  • Government needs to be open and transparent about analysis of cost effectiveness.
Building Trade
In response to the following prompts: Delegates noted:
  • Challenges around skills and capacity.
  • 80% of stock in 2050 was already built; we needed innovative solutions to encourage maintenance efficiency and accessibility in the private sector.
  • Off-site and modular construction methods could improve build quality and cost and needed support.
  • Need longer term investment with more training and apprentices.
  • More educational opportunities needed to establish housing as a career.
In response to the following prompts: Delegates noted:
  • Lack of competition.
  • Stronger role for Scottish Government and public sector to create the right market conditions to encourage development.
  • Housing markets driven by where developers want to build.
  • Regional variation in housing systems and markets differ.
  • How much should government intervene in the market; possible unintended consequences of investment.
Environmental Sustainability
In response to the following prompts: Delegates noted:
  • Existing stock could be more efficient.
  • Sufficient incentive to maintain stock?
  • New build not sufficiently ambitious.
  • Better assessment of energy efficiency to reduce fuel poverty.
In response to the following prompts: Delegates noted:
[No prompt]
  • A failure to learn from prior designs and models, especially around place-making.
  • Designing for past problems, not future needs and ways of living.
  • Lack of recognition of role of design.
  • Modern methods of construction quality needed to be good enough for mortgages and insurance.
  • Design all homes to suit all ages.

Homes that meet people's needs

Fit for Purpose
In response to the following prompts: Delegates noted:
  • Need more accessible homes for disabled people.
  • Effective use of existing housing stock?
  • Appropriate locations for families?
  • Existing stock deteriorating.
  • Older population increasing at a time when money for care in community, sheltered support housing was reducing.
  • All Scottish Government funded new builds should be accessible and future proofed to reduce need for adaptations.
  • Preventative services such as small repairs, adaptations, care and repair must be properly resourced.
  • We need to make existing homes more accessible and easier to adapt and fund this.
  • Need to plan for disabled children's housing requirements.
  • Accessibility in private sector housing was important – where were the new bungalows?
Purpose of different tenures
In response to the following prompts: Delegates noted:
  • Enough clarity of purpose for each tenure?
  • Consumer choice of tenure was important.
  • Piloting different and new housing models and tenures would be important.
  • Social housing as a part of social justice.
In response to the following prompts: Delegates noted:
  • Temporary accommodation.
  • Rough sleeping.
  • Homelessness is about a lot more than rough sleeping.
  • Hidden homelessness (e.g. sofa surfing).
  • More homes were not the solution in themselves; the correct support also needed to be in place.
  • Promote tenancy sustainment to avoid homelessness.
  • Support people in staying in their current home to prevent homelessness.
  • Adequate funding for advice for tenants.
In response to the following prompts: Delegates noted:
  • High purchase prices in some areas.
  • High rents in some areas.
  • Fuel poverty.
  • Impact of cost on household formation.
  • Fuel poverty – ambitious targets but without clear funding could mean fuel poverty becoming rent poverty.
  • Universal basic income mooted.
  • Lack of diversity on offer and in delivery.
  • Transient needs – e.g. students.
  • Second homes and short term lets impact on housing stock and price.
  • Make acquisition of existing stock a greater priority.
  • Downsizing to be encouraged for underused three and four-bed homes.
  • Need to take a more gradual approach to the understanding of demand in different areas.
  • Faster, more appropriate support to ensure new tenancies were successful.
  • Funding for energy efficiency measures from Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) Band C to Band B at an average cost of £6-7k with an annual saving of £160.
  • Mid-Market Rent (MMR) income cut-offs were too low in context of short supply of social housing.

Sustainable communities

Lack of Priority
In response to the following prompts: Delegates noted:
  • Focus on unit volumes rather than community building?
  • Lack of priority – too little housing fully accessible e.g. for wheelchair users.
  • Focus on unit volumes, not linked to specific local needs (affordability, house sizes, accessibility).
  • Build homes where there was the greatest need, instead of where it was easiest to build.
  • Need to improve current stock and renovate empty homes.
In response to the following prompts: Delegates noted:
  • Impact of e.g. out of town shopping on communities.
  • Risk of disconnect between planning, infrastructure and housing?
  • Extending cities out lengthens commutes and affects communities and infrastructure.
  • Regulate through planning process to create designed places.
  • Land reform required to capture planning gain for public good.
  • Use local place plans to engage people.
  • Improve transport connections to make places more accessible to key employment centres.
  • Allocate more homes in places people want to live in.
  • Social housing supported wider place-making and community.
  • How do we make sure that place-making elements were delivered?
  • More incentives to make more imaginative use of empty commercial buildings.
  • More powers needed to fix quickly buildings that blight communities.
Community Spirit
In response to the following prompts: Delegates noted:
  • Poor maintenance blights the area.
  • Few models for co-housing.
  • Insufficient priority given to 'public space'?
  • Need to recognise uniquely rural issues.
  • Tackling perceptions of housing the "less deserving"?
  • Conflict between community involvement in the process versus housing delivery.
  • Communities of interests' needs and wants, versus wider communities' needs and wants.
  • Provision of housing for different cultural family set-ups, large families, multi-generational households.
  • Communities sense of ownership and empowerment to co-design based upon local knowledge.
  • Increased support for community-owned housing.
  • Ability and capacity of communities to do more.
  • Massive potential issue in face of on-line shopping in terms of town centres and hearts of communities.

A well-functioning housing system

Housing as an Investment
In response to the following prompts: Delegates noted:
  • Entrenched capital inequality.
  • Asset bubble?
  • Homeowners' (misguided?) self-interest in rising prices.
  • Houses as unproductive assets.
  • Redefine the perception/myth that housing is an asset.
  • Consumers use housing wealth to support old age or to support children in buying a home; this was not misguided.
  • The "housing ladder" model is out-dated.
  • Did housing market interventions (e.g. Help to Buy) inflate house prices?
  • Housing as an asset does not provide any incentive to downsize.
  • Strengthen and expand the equity release pilot.
  • Start taxing growth in house value.
  • Second homes are inflating the cost of housing.
  • Too much investment in student housing compared to new homes.
Lack of Competition
In response to the following prompts: Delegates noted:
  • Relative lack of Small and Medium-sized Enterprise (SME) housebuilders?
  • Private sector profits linked to public good?
  • Limited meaningful recourse for consumers.
  • Investment predicated on capital growth.
  • Supply not responding quickly enough to demand.
  • Maintenance and life costs need to be properly accounted for.
  • SME builders need financial and regulatory support to thrive again.
  • Aspiration around tenure choice; it was not always ownership.
  • People need support to access more challenging options, e.g. self-build and custom build.
Availability of Land and Infrastructure
In response to the following prompts: Delegates noted:
  • High land costs?
  • Is sufficient land available?
  • Private sector housing is effectively a privatised land system controlled by too few players.
  • Land banking; and over-allocation of land leading to land banking not building.
  • Infrastructure costs.
  • Disconnect of funding options for infrastructure and housing.
  • Better understanding of land and housing market dynamics required and its impact on supply.

2.3 Towards a vision

Possible futures

1. Delegates were asked to explore the four housing and regeneration outcomes through five "sliders", which allowed them to express where they thought Scotland was, and where Scotland should be, in relation to each of the outcomes. The feedback produced by stakeholders as a result of this exercise is detailed below.

A well-functioning housing system

2. This slider asked delegates where on a spectrum they thought Scotland was in respect of, at one extreme, a focus on access to affordable housing for all and, at the other, a focus on maintaining investment value (housing wealth). There was a consensus that the focus currently was more towards maintaining investment value but that, for 2040, the focus needed to be much more on access to affordable housing for all. Delegates wanted every household to be able to afford an appropriate home, in an environment where house prices were modest and stable.

Stakeholder vision: Every household can afford an appropriate home. Low income families have a choice. One decent home per household takes priority over second homes and investment returns on property. Renting is cheaper than owning. Fairer wealth distributions (move the bottom up and the top down). Commercial investment in PRS based on rental income return (not capital appreciation). House prices are modest and stable in real terms. Other investments and savings are stronger and can sustain people in old age.

Homes that meet people's needs

3. This slider asked delegates where on a spectrum they thought Scotland was in respect of who shapes and controls new supply, with government at one extreme and communities at the other. There was no consensus emerging from the discussion with a wide range of views as to where we were now and where we ought to be in 2040.

4. In respect of social housing, there was support for government leadership but with development progressed using a co-production approach with communities and stakeholders. On private housing, a partnership approach between local authorities and developers was supported, with government acting as an enabler. Common standards across tenures were also supported.

Stakeholder vision: Government leadership but social housing development progressed in co-production with communities and other stakeholders. Less regulation of social housing. Government mediation to balance individual and collective good.

Regulation and minimum standards for the PRS. PRS to provide choice and to be an important option for some households.

Partnership approach between local authorities and developers, with government intervention if required. The state has an enabling role and communities know their rights and are more empowered. A lot of variation in housing types. Advice to support sweat equity (where part of the value of the home was generated by the labour of the householders in constructing it) and co-housing.

Common standards with similar designs being reused (danger of monoculture) where this was appropriate. Some new buildings exceeding standards.

Housing fully integrated with welfare system and health and justice objectives. Housing and transport co-ordinated.

Government safeguards / protects the public good while enabling and empowering individuals and communities.

High quality, sustainable homes

5. This slider asked delegates where on a spectrum they thought Scotland was in respect of, at one extreme, strong controls on housing quality and, at the other, weak controls on housing quality. There was a consensus that controls on housing quality needed to get stronger as we moved to 2040.

Stakeholder vision: Imposition of standards across all tenures. Strong regulation of landlords and landlord – tenant relationship. High standard of place and quality of existing and new build. Mandatory communal improvements and good factoring are the norm.

The parameters of the market, and business opportunity, are focused on meeting standards. Some homes cannot meet the standards and are demolished. The housing stock is used well and there are low levels of under occupation due to every home being high quality. People are able to move easily for work or changing circumstances to a house that meets their needs.

Support markets to meet standards through carrots and sticks.

6. Some participants felt it was impractical to impose standards across all tenures.

Sustainable communities

7. Delegates were presented with two sliders under this outcome. The first slider asked delegates where on a spectrum they thought Scotland was in respect of the degree of mixed communities with, at one extreme, people living in large homogeneous groups and, at the other, people living in fully mixed communities. The first extreme is represented by people living in large homogeneous groups (whole towns) with those of similar incomes and backgrounds. At the other extreme is people living in highly mixed communities so that incomes and backgrounds are mixed house by house. In this case, there was less consensus but a general tendency to favour more mixed communities at a house by house level.

Stakeholder vision: Tenures interspersed at a unit by unit level. Complete mixing of house types at a very local level to suit different needs. Care in the community.

8. Some stakeholders felt that a potential disadvantage of mixed communities could be a sense of social isolation ("nobody around me understands me") but that there could be advantages to integration in terms of mutual understanding ("we all get along").

9. The second slider asked delegates where on a spectrum they thought Scotland was in respect of a focus, at one extreme, on numbers of homes and, at the other, quality and place. There was a strong consensus that the current focus was very much on volume and that Scotland needed to focus more on quality and place.

Stakeholder vision: Well-designed places. A different model of development: house builders build houses to master-planners' designs, not their existing templates. Mixed-use and "tenure-blind" development. Locality planning. Communities that care about their surroundings and maintain them. Health benefits from inspiring and well-functioning surroundings. Community "pride".

10. However, it was also noted that the volume of homes available and being constructed is important to address affordability and to allow people to continue to live in their community.


11. Delegates were asked to consider the 14 draft principles relating to each of the four housing and regeneration outcomes outlined in the Housing Beyond 2021 discussion paper, and to provide feedback on these principles. It should be noted that this exercise was carried out in groups, therefore only a small number of delegates considered each principle and, due to time constraints, not all 14 principles were discussed at the launch event. The feedback collected from delegates on each of the principles that were considered is detailed below.

A well-functioning housing system

Principle 1 - The housing market should supply high-quality homes for living in, not promote the use of houses as a store of wealth.

12. Some stakeholders suggested "housing market" should be replaced with "housing system", to avoid confusion between private and social housing. There was a suggestion to limit the reference of wealth to "unproductive" wealth. Many delegates felt that a house was a special kind of asset and should therefore be treated differently from other forms of wealth. It was noted that policies needed to work across Scotland and be adaptable for different localities with differing needs. It was suggested that mixed demographic development was as important as mixed tenure development. It was important to create routes out of social housing now that Right to Buy had ended; these could be MMR developments and low cost home ownership.

Principle 2 - Government policy (e.g. taxes and subsidies) should promote house price stability, to help underpin Scotland's standard of living and productivity.

13. The following elements of a vision were suggested: every household should be able to afford an appropriate home, irrespective of income levels; equality across tenures, including aesthetically; housing needs to be in desirable locations (transport, jobs, green space); the impact on other services (e.g. GP practices, transport) needs to be considered; community voice and aspirations need to be taken into account; there needs to be a greater variety of homes and means of delivering them (e.g. self-build); and mixed communities that are self-sustaining, resilient and supportive. Some important challenges included integrating infrastructure and place-making, not just homes, and incentivising private owners to maintain their own homes.

High quality, sustainable homes

Principle 5 - Space and quality standards should be set specifically to improve and protect quality of living across all tenures.

14. Delegates suggested that "quality of living" should be followed by "and of place". The following elements of a vision were suggested: place-making leading to strong communities and connected people to combat the loneliness and disconnection that challenged our well-being and economic productivity; a tenure neutral approach with tenure neutral quality and space standards for both new-build and existing properties; incentives to achieve quality standards in owner occupied housing; recognition of, and valuing, great places; and long term investment.

15. It was also noted that standards need to be flexible enough to allow innovation. There was a suggestion that gold, silver and bronze standards could be applied and that local delivery agents need sufficient capacity to deliver. It was suggested that resources be pooled on the basis of place, i.e. budgets for places not for policies. It was also suggested that standards could be tailored for different parts of buildings, e.g. imposing particular standards for all ground floor properties.

Principle 6 - Government policy should promote greater competition (including greater SME participation) in the building sector and broader availability of usable land to reduce prices and improve building quality.

16. The group suggested amending this principle to read as follows:

Government policy and resources should promote greater diversity, including greater commissioning of SMEs, community and social enterprises and co-ops in building homes. Better use of public sector land should support infrastructure, create value (social, economic and environmental) and improve quality of place.

17. The following points were made in discussion: encouraging more SME involvement was not just about policy; government could do more to support SMEs through commissioning and procurement; large developments were difficult for SMEs to access; SMEs struggled to compete with bigger players with access to borrowing; banks were not lending to SMEs for housing development; diversity is more relevant than "competition"; and the government could do more to promote diversity through subsidy or by improving access to land, including public land.

18. Planning reform, land reform, Compulsory Purchase Orders (CPOs) and community empowerment were all seen as possible ways of opening up new routes for SMEs or social enterprise developers and co-ops. It was suggested that government could assist by maintaining a register of sites and in providing and managing infrastructure on sites suitable for SMEs.

Principle 7 - All tenures should apply the same high quality and safety standards and levels of consumer protection.

19. The group suggested amending this principle to read as follows:

All tenures should apply the same safety standards and, where practical, aspire to high levels of quality.

20. It was suggested that clarity is needed on who would pay for these standards and whether they were meant to apply to existing homes as well as new homes. Issues considered included: listed buildings and conservation areas; difficulties faced by solid wall construction off gas grid in meeting energy standards; agricultural tenancies, which would not fit this model without radical change to tenancies legislation; and the need for loans for crofting.

Sustainable communities

Principle 10 - New housing, and the required community resources, should only be put in place where they help to create safer, stronger, attractive, sustainable and integrated communities.

21. The group felt that this principle presupposed that new supply was the key, but noted that 80% of the housing stock in 2050 will have already been built. They suggested that this principle should, therefore, reflect all housing and not just 'new' supply. It was also suggested that the term "communities" in the principle could be better defined in terms of whether it referred to place or people, or both. Similarly, delegates asked whether "integrated communities" related to age, race or ethnicity. There was also a question about development in areas where a community did not already exist, for example new towns or city regeneration areas.

22. Delegates also commented that this principle should recognise housing as a human right and there was strong support for this to be explicitly stated. It was suggested a more active, rights-based principle be adopted; for example, where people counted and each community had a say about where and how new housing was developed, and where everyone had equitable access to the housing that they needed.

Principle 12 - Government should promote functioning communities which are physically, digitally, culturally and economically connected within a coherent geographic region.

23. This principle was broadly supported. It was suggested that "improve", be substituted for "promote", or clarity provided on what was meant by "promote", as to whether it was about investment or a statement of aspiration. It was also noted that this principle was potentially difficult to measure.

24. The group also commented that the principle needed to reflect community empowerment, as communities know their own different needs best. Some questioned the need for "geographic region", considering that this should refer to communities of interest, rather than location. Rural issues were noted, such as no phone signal, poor internet and no gas grid and this affected the ability to work from home, for example.

25. General feedback offered by the group included support for continued reduction in the tax benefits for PRS landlords and moves to enforce energy efficiency. Some wanted to see the size of the PRS reduced to tackle issues such as poor condition of properties, people trapped in PRS unable to afford to get a mortgage and property price inflation.

26. It was noted that rents could be a postcode lottery, as was the case in Glasgow where there were 400 different rent structures inherited by Glasgow Housing Association in a stock transfer.

27. Some wanted to see Scottish Government masterplan more effectively with all parties involved – e.g. health and social care, transport, education, housing and planning.

28. One delegate said that the housing sector needed to be more competitive with less grant, recognising that in England there was much less grant available.

Homes that meet people's needs

Principle 13 - Government should ensure that there are affordable housing options for households at all income levels.

29. There was general agreement with this principle but some thought government funding should focus on social housing only, with other affordable housing for all income levels funded by others. In terms of actions towards the achievement of the principle, it was felt this required a strong Scottish Government lead, ensuring access to finance at scale, and that the sector needs to make more noise about the socio-economic benefits of housing and use this to persuade investors of the continued attractiveness of investment. It was suggested that supply issues might be dealt with through planning policy (e.g. holiday lets) and that land value capture had a role to play (with landowners receiving returns over longer periods). Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) were also cited as an opportunity, if they could be scaled up. There was a call to look again at the Apprenticeship Levy as a means of ensuring supply of skilled workers.

30. There were concerns that too much housing is developer-led, with local authorities having to react to developer interests and timescales, and that some developers sit on un-used land for too long.

Principle 14 - Housing and the housing market should be highly flexible to enable people to meet their changing needs, especially those of an ageing population (accessibility and adaptations).

31. The following elements of a vision were suggested: a housing system that delivers social justice; everyone to have the opportunity to live securely in a home in diverse communities that meets their needs and aspirations; people, regardless of their background and circumstances, have the same opportunity or entitlement as others to quality housing in quality places; people and communities involved in designing their own solutions; and development supports diverse and sustainable communities.

32. The following points were made in discussion: cultural and behavioural change is required to deliver the principles and vision; the principles should be more focussed on community and place-making; and the housing system should be flexible to meet the changing needs of communities as well as people.

33. It was suggested that the Scottish Government should regulate the private house builders to limit profits, and that all life transitions, young people, older people and people with disabilities should be considered. Delegates also suggested that the housing system should be seen through a social justice lens and that the term "housing ladder" was unsuitable.

2.4 Pointer for a route map to 2040

1. During the launch event, delegates were presented with a blank timeline and were asked to consider key milestones for the housing system from 2018 to 2040. This section summarises what stakeholders added to the timeline, and does not represent Scottish Government planned activities[8].

Milestones to 2020

  • Scottish Government recognises the differences between urban and rural PRS and considers rural differences, e.g. Edinburgh tenure of 18 months versus a rural tenure of greater than 9 years.
  • Scottish Government: achieves best value for tax payers' money; is transparent about analysis of cost-effectiveness; and includes taxes in this assessment of value.
  • Scottish Government give grants to PRS that reflect that extra taxes will give a return to the tax payer (c.f. social housing).
  • Scottish Government rural-proofs all legislation and regulation.
  • Scottish Government persuades HM Treasury to alter capital gains tax to provide holdover relief for affordable rented housing.
  • Best practice in design promoted and shared.
  • Effective resourcing of local government to help regulate and enforce.
  • Housing recognised as a human right and housing outcomes understood in human rights terms.
  • A common narrative on human rights for housing.
  • Planning Bill becomes an Act.
  • Land value capture mechanism in place.
  • Develop method of describing place through community engagement "visions" to inform new housing as a basis for assessing and approving planning applications.
  • Clear remit for Scottish National Investment Bank to deliver infrastructure to unlock housing.
  • Housing representation as a core member of Integrated Joint Boards.
  • Diversification of access to finances to build community bodies and co-housing.
  • Infrastructure fund to service sites for development.
  • Development of "open-source" designs to enable people to self-build.
  • Long-term commitment to clear targets and subsidy.

Milestones 2021-2025

  • Agreed cross-party political consensus and consistent manifestos on the future of housing.
  • Housing associations and councils working as a team.
  • All public investment in a place is planned in relation to a single spatial plan.
  • Agreed standard for housing and place quality and standards with published manual to support this.
  • Refreshed strategy every five years.
  • Addressed skills shortages (through training and education starting now).
  • Clear definition of what is 'affordable'.
  • Establish means of identifying, sharing, supporting people to know what good quality and place looks like and how to deliver it.
  • Support for owners to maintain homes.
  • Stronger role for Scottish Government and wider public sector in developing infrastructure proactively and creatively.
  • Sinking funds established for repairs across tenures, using tax incentives and penalties.
  • Mapped infrastructure needs and used as basis for investment.
  • Increased rent to buy options and help to buy extended to existing stock.
  • Private sector repair grants restored to support town centre regeneration.
  • Engagement focused on future communities.
  • Policy based on the housing principles.
  • Reviewed effectiveness of existing housing and health policies for consistency.
  • Rural impact assessment of Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Action Group (HARSAG) recommendations.
  • Scottish Water capital investment planning redesigned.
  • Supported and developed leadership role for planning and design in local authorities to promote quality of housing and place.
  • Reformed taxation regarding house sales to capture profits made on private sector sales.
  • Guidance on a single standard published.
  • Created a more fluid housing system and market through land value capture and CPOs at affordable housing value.
  • Reviewed funding for social housing (capital, benefits, rent).
  • PRS EPC threshold of E to be enforced only on re-letting, rather than sitting tenants having to be evicted to carry out necessary work.
  • Agree and work towards implementing tenure neutral standards on quality, access, public perception.
  • Meaningful tax imposed on inherited wealth.
  • Discussions with funders to identify continuing and new sources of funding.
  • Different model of funding for local authorities, so they can be fully resourced to deliver consistently.
  • Established a National Housing Agency.
  • Provided Scottish Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP) for energy efficiency.
  • Public sector pension funds investing in delivery of affordable housing.
  • Financial and policy support for new entrants in the market.
  • National and local policy clearly directed at the agreed housing system outcomes.
  • Planning system review of housing land allocations.
  • Consistent 30 year housing investment and development plans from councils.
  • Local authorities rewarded (through increased budget) for meeting high new accessible homes targets.
  • Key elements of a new housing programme identified i.e. new build/regeneration/new tenures.
  • Alternatives to housing as "safe pension investment" identified and promoted.
  • Revise procurement framework to promote SME participation.
  • Improved section 75 process (e.g. contributions for education are used local to the development).
  • Long-term agreement on subsidy in housing.
  • Single accessible building standard.
  • People able to access adaptions to their homes much more quickly.
  • Houses will be valued by square footage, rather than number of bedrooms.
  • Budgets for home adaptations increased.
  • Road testing and piloting of new housing models and tenures with top-sliced, ring-fenced funding.
  • Education, health, social care, housing have joint strategy for housing based on an understanding of local needs reflecting diversity.
  • Flexible tenure model introduced with rising and falling equity shared over life-time.
  • Digital transformation of housing services to free up capacity.
  • Incentives to bring empty building into housing use.
  • Local government finance reformed.
  • Front-loaded planning system to enable small and micro development within larger sites.

Milestones from 2026 to 2030

  • Mainstream quality and space standard across tenures.
  • Cultural shift/change in thinking about home ownership.
  • Mainstream best practice.
  • Commitment in place to increase housing association and council housing to 40% of market by 2040.
  • We are building homes across tenures that meet the access and space requirements of older and disabled people who use wheelchairs etc.
  • Recognition that different geography, economy, demography have different requirements.
  • Housing system is organised to respond to needs of older and disabled people because it ensures: an adequate supply of accessible homes; effective allocation of accessible homes; and timely adaptations.
  • Review of Scottish Government and local government concordat.
  • Home owners encouraged to face up to challenges of moving to smaller, more easily managed housing.
  • Tax incentives in place to invest in own home or self-build.
  • Young people in the industry increases.
  • Tough regulatory standards in all tenures.
  • All housing looking aesthetically pleasing.
  • Public investment in supporting infrastructure, rather than vanity projects.
  • Introduction of "local people and place" strategic plans.
  • National dataset and map in place to form our thinking and strategy.
  • More private finance for all tenures.
  • Investment decisions based on outcomes, rather than outputs.
  • Empowered communities and individuals to contribute to planning.
  • Replaced council tax with land value tax.
  • Further devolution: housing benefit.
  • Eradicate fuel poverty by 2028.

Milestones from 2030 to 2040

  • Electrical grid capacity in place as part of energy efficiency and electrical car charging.
  • One million electric vehicles in Scotland with home, work, community, retail and rail car parks as charging points.
  • Delivery of Energy Efficiency EPC rating band D in private rented homes. (Required 205,000 to be upgraded).
  • Reconsideration of Energy Efficiency Standards for Social Housing post-2020 (EESSH2) impacts on social housing balance sheet and its viability in rural Scotland.
  • New homes and existing homes adapted to meet 25% population being 65+ years old.

Milestones at 2040

  • A well-functioning housing system that delivers on human rights.
  • People have access to homes that are stress and problem free, affordable, safe, warm and efficient.



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