Housing to 2040: vision and principles

The vision and underpinning principles inform the Housing to 2040 route map and describe our ambition for everyone to have access to a warm, safe, affordable and energy efficient home that meets their needs, in a community they feel part of and proud of.

This document is part of a collection

Housing to 2040 Vision

A Well-Functioning Housing System

  • Finding the right home – I can quickly find a home that is right for me when I need one, for example, when my circumstances change, and the process of moving is straightforward. I have a choice about where in Scotland I live and the type of home I live in. I can find suitable accommodation no matter what area I choose to live in, even though I am on a modest income. There are new ways to find homes through, for example, arranging swaps directly with other people who want to move.
  • Affording a home – I can afford a home that meets my needs. I find renting is affordable and allows me to make regular savings for my future, in order to buy a home, if I want to.
  • Making the best use of our homes – As an older person wanting to move, I can get help to move to a home which better meets my needs; my current home is no longer right for me but would be ideal for a family.

I live in a social rented home, and can move across Scotland to be nearer family without losing my right to a home.

As a parent on a low income, I can get help to move to a home better suited to my children's needs.

  • Investing – There are a range of attractive forms of investment and savings products for me to consider beyond bricks and mortar and these will help me to fund my retirement.
  • Fairness – I know that help with housing is there for me if and when I need it, for example, if I am struggling to pay my rent. I am assisted to keep my home at difficult points in my life.
  • Rural and island communities – I live in a rural or island area and it is great to know there are good housing options for everyone here, from farmers and crofters to young people and those seeking to move to the area to set up home and bring employment and new opportunities to the area. Housing supports much needed skilled workers living and staying in my community; and local people and businesses are building the new homes.

New homes in my rural community have supported a jump in population. The future of the primary school and local shop is secure. It's a comfort to know that our local circumstances are taken into account when government makes decisions about housing; it feels like we're on a level playing field with the big cities.

High Quality, Sustainable Homes

  • Design – My home is well-designed and of a high standard, with enough space and flexibility to allow me to live well. I know that a lot of effort went into the design of my home, which has helped make it functional, attractive, flexible, resilient, energy efficient and low carbon.
  • Equality of standards – You can't tell by looking at my home whether I own or rent my home; it's in a great place and meets all of my needs.
  • Older homes – My home is quite old but there are a range of innovative and affordable ways available to me to make it more comfortable and energy efficient without spoiling its appearance.
  • New build homes – When I bought my new home, any defects were rectified quickly. Defects are minimised because of the high level of quality control during the construction process. I am confident that my house builder is a fair and inclusive employer.
  • Empowered – I am not afraid to ask my landlord about changes or improvements to my home because I know they have to consider my request fully and I cannot be penalised for asking.
  • Good use – Every home on my street is occupied and no home is left empty for a significant period of time without good reason.
  • Maintenance – I find it easy to find high quality, reliable and cost effective tradespeople to make repairs and improvements to my home. Although I live in a block of flats, it is really straightforward to make improvements and repairs to communal areas. My property factor delivers a high quality service.
  • Running costs – I understand exactly how much it costs to run my home and what I can do to reduce costs and carbon emissions; it's great that fuel poverty is a thing of the past.
  • Low carbon – I know that my home is not damaging the planet having been retrofitted to be near zero carbon; it is heated using renewable or zero emissions heating, which is affordable and efficient. Every home in Scotland is energy efficient and we're all playing our part in tackling the global climate emergency.

Sustainable Communities

  • Staying local – There is a good mix of housing where I live, which means I have the option to stay in the area if my needs change. This means I know I can stay in contact with my neighbours and friends and can continue to access the services that my family and I use. The right homes are available across Scotland and in the right place to support both rural and urban communities; there are homes suitable for different cultures and for people who need extra help to be cared for in my community. This means my elderly relatives can live nearby too if they choose.
  • Well-designed places –The place where I live is well-designed, distinctive and has a strong sense of identity. House builders are building homes that are high quality, fit well into the neighbourhood and are climate ready. Exposure to floods is mitigated by avoiding areas at risk and with appropriate property resilience measures, and living roofs and allowing space for wild areas help to soak up the rain.
  • Connected places – My local council and developers listen to me and my community. They pay attention to what we want and what makes my community special. We have the right infrastructure in place for new homes and we are well-connected. Open spaces are accessible and used by people of all ages. Even though I live in a rural area, I can access the services I need.
  • Health and well-being – There is a strong sense of community pride where I live and people care about our surroundings and are supported to maintain them. The streets around me are clean, accessible and safe. It is a walking and cycle-friendly environment. The parks, play areas and green spaces are easily accessible and used by people of all ages. We all benefit from good physical and mental health, a clean environment, and inspiring and well-maintained surroundings.
  • Vibrant communities – The centre of my community is a lively hub with shops, services and attractive places to meet. My community is digitally connected enabling me to work from home or hotdesk locally when I want to. People are attracted to live and work in my island community, and local businesses are thriving.

Homes That Meet People's Needs

  • My lifestyle – My home supports my well-being, and the well-being of my family. My home supports my children in doing the best they can at school, and allows me to engage with my community and other people who matter to me, including my family, friends and neighbours. My home supports me in progressing my career. My home supports me through different stages of my life and can be easily adapted around me.
  • My rights – I know where to go to get information and advice about my rights to housing and housing services and I feel empowered. I know where to get the help I need to prevent me from losing my home.

As a former member of the Armed Forces, I receive support from my local authority including advice about the additional support to which I am entitled from veterans' organisations. When I signed up to the Armed Forces, I was provided with information and advice on the housing options in Scotland which allowed me to plan for a better future in civilian life.

  • Diversity – Where I live, there are a variety of different homes that meet the differing needs of people in the community. Land is available to support further house building and the community is engaged and involved with taking forward proposals for housing in new and innovative ways, for example, through self-build projects. There are also options to live more communally, if that is what people want. Where I have particular accommodation needs, I am able to find a home that allows me to stay in my community and have my independence supported.
  • My services – I get the help I need to live independently at home, supported by new and advancing technology. I can access health, welfare, education and other services, not least because my community is well-connected with good transport services. If I need an aid or adaptation to my home to allow me to continue to live independently, it will be provided within a reasonable time. If I am no longer able to live independently at home, there is a good choice of retirement, sheltered or residential homes available to me close to my family.
  • Self-build – When I built my own home, I found it easy to access advice and support for my self-build project and I was able to work on it myself. This means I have a home which is just right for me.


Email: Housing2040@gov.scot

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