Housing to 2040: equalities position statement

Housing to 2040: Equalities position statement

Background and policy aim

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

Since that commitment, we have engaged extensively with a wide range of stakeholders and with communities and individuals across Scotland to help create a shared vision for 2040.

This included:

  • Stakeholder engagement in 2018[ii];
  • An online consultation and events held across the country in 2019/20[iii];
  • A travelling housing exhibition in 2019 ‘Present Voices, Future Lives’.[iv] The exhibition visited twelve urban, rural and island locations across Scotland and collected a wealth of feedback from young people and communities about the housing issues that mattered most to them; and
  • Input from the Social Renewal Advisory Board to capture and respond to COVID-19 related impacts.

This extensive stakeholder engagement and public consultation has helped to shape and inform a Housing to 2040 Vision and set of Principles for Housing to 2040 and the route map itself.

The Housing to 2040 Vision and Principles[v] are framed around four 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 meets people’s needs is fundamental to our aspiration to deliver economic, environmental and social progress in Scotland. To ensure we do this in a way which tackles inequality and advances equality for those with protected characteristics, in particular, we must understand and respond to the housing experiences of different groups.

A core aim of Housing to 2040 is to advance equality of opportunity and housing outcomes between those who share a protected characteristic and those who don’t.

Housing has a vital role to play in meeting many of our ambitions for Scotland: tackling child  and fuel poverty; ending homelessness; strengthening communities; helping stem rural depopulation; improving health and wellbeing; addressing the global climate emergency; and promoting inclusive growth. Tackling inequality is at the heart of each of these aims. Through the housing system, we have the opportunity to provide the best base from which to support our most disadvantaged and vulnerable communities, in particular, and to channel resources to empower communities to create vibrant places that are sustainable and promote wellbeing. We know that there are aspects of our housing system in Scotland that already reduce inequality – for example our strong approach to rights for all homeless households and supply of affordable social housing bringing down poverty rates after housing costs - but we also recognise that some elements have been a source of inequality in the past. Housing, and our approach to Housing to 2040, therefore has a substantial job to do to improve outcomes for those with protected characteristics and in doing so contributing fully to the Scottish Government’s National Performance Framework and National Outcomes[vi] and UN Sustainable Development Goals[vii].


The Housing to 2040 route map[viii] will help us achieve our aim that, by 2040, everyone will have a safe, high-quality and affordable home that meets their needs in the place they want to be. The route map is set out across four parts, aligned to the main areas of feedback we received from stakeholders during the extensive engagement and consultation outlined above.


The Housing to 2040 vision, principles and route map provide a strategic framework to steer housing related policies, projects and programmes over the next 20 years to deliver better outcomes for people in their homes and communities. This must be based on delivering and promoting inclusivity and tackling inequalities, in order to maximise improvements to the quality of life of people experiencing most disadvantage, in terms of health, socio-economic disadvantage and those living in the most deprived communities and, also in terms of protected characteristics, including sex, ethnicity, disability and age.





Back to top