Housing to 2040: child rights and wellbeing impact assessment

A screening form for Child Rights and Wellbeing Impact Assessment (CRWIA) completed for Housing to 2040 Vision and Principles and Route Map.

This document is part of a collection

CRWIA Stage 1

1. Name the policy, and describe its overall aims.

Housing to 2040 Vision & Principles and Route Map.

In the 2018-19 Programme for Government, the Scottish Government made a commitment to plan together with stakeholders for how our homes and communities should look and feel in 2040 and the options and choices to get there.

In July 2019, we published a draft vision for 2040 and a set of underlying principles to guide future policy development. These have pushed us to think radically about the future housing system by setting an ambition for good quality, energy efficient, zero emissions housing with access to outdoor space, transport links, connectivity and community services.

As part of the development of Housing to 2040 we engaged extensively with a wide range of stakeholders, communities and individuals across Scotland through stakeholder engagement in 2018, public consultation in 2019/20 and a mobile housing exhibition that toured Scotland from November to December  2019. The ‘Present Voices, Future Lives’ exhibition visited twelve sites including urban, rural and islands locations and was attended by 752 people (including 34 children aged up to 11 years old and 318 children and young people aged 11 to 19 years old). The exhibition played a key role in ensuring that we meaningfully engaged with children and young people to gather their views on Housing to 2040. This was facilitated through workshops exploring a range of topics relevant to Housing to 2040 and the feedback gathered is outlined in the ‘Present Voices, Future Lives’ Housing Exhibition Report. The outputs from the stakeholder engagement, public consultation and the mobile housing exhibition helped inform the Housing to 2040 vision, principles and route map. The mobile housing exhibition was positively received by a range of stakeholders, who praised it as a great vehicle to ensure children and young people’s participation in policy making on a national level.

Housing to 2040 represents a culmination of these efforts and is a high level national approach to housing in Scotland to the year 2040. The Housing to 2040 document includes a Route Map for the Scottish Government and its partners to deliver to the year 2040. It should be noted that the right to an adequate home features as a central and underpinning principle for achieving the Housing to 2040 Vision. As a forward-looking vision and strategy, it sets out a direction of travel for a wide range of policies and as this work is taken forward, it will necessitate development of relevant impact assessment requirements, including CRWIA, at the appropriate time.

The Housing to 2040 Vision and Principles are framed around  four key themes:

  • A well-functioning housing system,
  • High quality sustainable homes,
  • Sustainable communities, and
  • Homes that meet people’s needs.

The provision of warm, safe, affordable and accessible housing that meet’s people’s needs is fundamental to our aspiration to deliver economic, environmental and social progress in Scotland.

Housing to 2040 sets a long-term framework and starts the journey to 2040 heading into and through the next Parliament. It will be reviewed and refreshed at key review points in light of changing market, economic and social circumstances.

2.  What aspects of the policy/measure will affect children and young people up to the age of 18?

We are adopting a whole-systems approach in Housing to 2040. This approach takes into account the people, place, environment and communities in which our homes, both new and old, rural, urban and island, are located. Housing to 2040 will, therefore, impact on people of all ages, sex and backgrounds, living or with the intention of living in Scotland in future and across all housing tenures. This will include children and young people up to the age of 18.

Issues such as having a home that is warm, safe, affordable and accessible (for disabled children) with space to do homework and with opportunities for indoor/outdoor play clearly  impact on children and young people, as does homelessness.

Specific aspects of Housing to 2040 that we expect will affect children and young people up to the age of 18 include:

  • Affordable housing supply
  • Regeneration and Place
  • Planning
  • Rural and islands housing
  • Homelessness
  • The right to an adequate home
  • Private and social rented sector
  • Support for home ownership
  • Energy efficiency and heat decarbonisations
  • Housing quality and standards, including accessibility

As mentioned above, Housing to 2040 provides an ambition, a national policy framework and milestones for housing over a period of the next two decades. While there might be aspects of the national policy framework and associated milestones that will to some extent impact on children and young people up to the age of 18, the implications of these should be considered as the specific policies or legal provisions arise and are developed and implemented in future. We will therefore carry out CRWIAs as that work is taken forward.

We will also undertake periodic reviews of Housing to 2040 as a whole, setting out the progress we are making and identifying where changes might be needed to correct our course. As part of this, we will consider the outcomes of impact assessments.

In addition, Local Authorities as the statutory local housing authority are also required to ensure that the housing requirements of children and young people are fully considered in the local implementation of housing policy, activity and service delivery as well as the impacts. Local Housing Strategy guidance for local authorities[i] states that a CRWIA should be undertaken as part of a joint assessment with the EQIA with any outputs published separately.

3. What likely impact – direct or indirect – will the policy/measure have on children and young people?

We anticipate that Housing to 2040 will bring benefits across the National Performance Framework, including but not limited to outcomes that relate to children and young people. It seeks to have a positive indirect impact on eradicating child poverty, fuel poverty, homelessness including youth homelessness, and improving children and young people’s health and wellbeing.

We recognise that affordable housing helps to tackle child poverty, with cost of living, including housing costs being a key driver of child poverty. Housing to 2040 commitments to continue to deliver good quality,  affordable and social rented homes and to tackling unreasonably high rents in the private rented sector will continue to make an impact on child poverty levels. In addition, warm, healthy, safe and non-overcrowded homes and positive neighbourhoods play an important role in improving children’s and young people’s health and wellbeing, providing a healthy start and contributing to their social and physical development. Good homes with room for children to play, learn and study can contribute to educational attainment[ii].

The Housing to 2040 commitment to improve the quality of new build social homes and address all-tenure standards through the new Housing Standard will make an important contribution to ensuring people can live well in their homes and children and young people have the space indoors and outdoors that they need to thrive. Housing to 2040 further recognises that the provision of secure and stable housing for families is essential as part of a package of holistic family support[iii]. Ensuring families have a safe living environment gives them the opportunity to better manage the challenges they face and enables them to better engage with support services.

Scottish Government has a statutory duty to meet child poverty reduction targets in 2023 and 2030 under the Child Poverty (Scotland) Act 2017. Increasing housing affordability is a key lever in reducing poverty for households with children. Similarly, the Fuel Poverty (Targets, Definition and Strategy) (Scotland) Act 2019  will require us to achieve targets to reduce fuel poverty in Scotland. Housing to 2040 aims to build on progress already achieved in these areas by working towards the implementation and delivery of policies and targets where these have already been set, such as the Energy Efficient Scotland route map, child poverty targets, the Ending Homelessness and Rough Sleeping action plan and The Promise.

While we anticipate positive indirect impacts of the Housing to 2040 strategy and the above policy areas on children and young people, these will be considered in detail as the specific policies and/or legal provisions are developed and implemented over the next two decades.

4. Which groups of children and young people will be affected?

As mentioned above, Housing to 2040 will affect the lives of people of all ages, sexes and backgrounds, living or with the intention of living in Scotland in future and across all housing tenures. This will include children and young people up to the age of 18. We recognise, however, that there will be certain groups of children and young people who may be most influenced by the indirect impact of the Housing to 2040 strategy. These include, but are not limited to, the following groups:

  • Children and young people living in poverty, including fuel poverty;
  • Children and young people with protected characteristics, or living in a household which include adult(s) with protected characteristics;
  • Children and young people who live in a household with a survivor of Domestic abuse;
  • Children and young people at risk of or experiencing homelessness;
  • Care experienced children and young people.

Furthermore, the available evidence suggests that there is a range of priority groups where the prevalence of child poverty is higher[iv]. These priority groups each relate to one or more protected characteristics and include:

  • Households with a disabled parent or child,
  • Minority ethnic households,
  • Larger families (many of which are minority ethnic families),
  • Lone parents (90% of whom are women),
  • Mothers aged under 25, and
  • Families with a child under one year of age.

5. Will this require a CRWIA?

No. Housing to 2040  provides a national policy framework aiming to guide housing policy development over the course of the next twenty years. It provides a Route Map with milestones and trajectories that will guide a way to achieve the Vision, where specific policy and / or legal provisions will be considered, developed and implemented in order to achieve the Housing to 2040 Vision and Principles. Housing to 2040 will also be updated and refreshed over time in light of changing market, economic and social landscapes.

While some direct and indirect impacts of the Housing to 2040 strategy have been identified and considered, our view is that these should be further explored at a point when specific policies and / or legal provisions outlined in the Housing to 2040 strategy are developed to ensure a comprehensive assessment of their impact on children’s rights and wellbeing.

CRWIA Declaration

CRWIA is not required

CRWIA required

CRWIA not required




Policy lead

Laura Dougan, Housing to 2040 Strategy Lead

More Homes Division

Directorate for Housing and Social Justice


4 March 2021


Deputy Director or equivalent

Brad Gilbert, Deputy Director

More Homes Division

Directorate for Housing and Social Justice


4 March 2021



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