1. The statistics reported in this publication are based on a national survey of the housing stock, the only one of its kind in Scotland, which is part of the Scottish Household Survey (SHS). Until 2012 it was carried out as a stand-alone survey under the name Scottish House Condition Survey (SHCS). Following the review of the large-scale Scottish population surveys, the SHCS was incorporated within the SHS and became one of its modules. We continue to report the results from this module of the SHS under the name Scottish House Condition Survey.
2. The SHCS consists of an interview with householders and a physical inspection of the dwelling they occupy, which provides a picture of Scotland's occupied housing stock. It covers all types of households and dwellings across the country - whether owned or rented, flats or houses. The physical data about the dwelling is recorded by surveyors trained to collect detailed information on housing characteristics. This is combined with information about the household collected through the face to face interview, covering a range of topics such as household characteristics, tenure, neighbourhood satisfaction, dwelling satisfaction, health status and income. The result is a unique and powerful data set for examining the condition and characteristics of Scotland's housing stock alongside the views and experience of the people living in those dwellings.
3. This is the sixteenth 'Key Findings' report since the SHCS changed to a continuous format in 2003 and the eighth since it was integrated within the SHS. Details on the methodology and design of the survey are provided in the Scottish Household Survey Methodology and Fieldwork Outcomes reports. The incorporation of the SHCS within the SHS in 2012 introduced some discontinuities in the methodology of the survey and may contribute to some observed change over time.
4. In 2019 there were 2,997 surveyed properties. Statistics published in this report are based on fieldwork undertaken during 2019. A small proportion (4%) of the household interviews took place in the first quarter of 2020.
5. In 2009, the SHCS was designated as a National Statistics product by the UK Statistics Authority (UKSA) and in October 2020, following a compliance check by the Office for Statistics Regulation (OSR), it was confirmed that these statistics should continue to be designated as National Statistics. This demonstrates that the SHCS statistics are accurate, trustworthy and compliant with the high standards required of National Statistics.
6. Past methodological changes are described in each years' Key Findings report and associated Methodology Notes and, where relevant, in individual sections of this report. We always seek to improve and keep our methods and processes up to date and there may therefore be small changes to elements of data processing which do not impact significantly on the results. Details are provided in the respective technical sections.
7. The main change in 2019 is to the information presented relating to disrepair (section 6.1). In order to aid understanding of the statistics, data is now presented in terms of disrepair to critical elements (and sub-groups of urgent disrepair to critical elements and extensive disrepair to critical elements) and disrepair only to non-critical elements.
8. Differences between years or across characteristics are only highlighted in the commentary of this report if they are statistically significant. Values will be described as 'similar' if they are not significantly different. On occasion we also explicitly note that a difference is not statistically significant, particularly if it might appear large to the reader. This can occur if the statistic is based on a small sample size. Please see Chapter 7 for further details on confidence intervals, design effects and statistical significance.
9. The remainder of this report covers the following topics:
- Key Attributes of the Scottish Housing Stock: this chapter describes key dwelling characteristics such as dwelling type, age of construction, main heating fuel and the characteristics of the households that occupy them.
- Energy Efficiency: this chapter presents an analysis of the energy efficiency of the housing stock including presence and level of insulation.
- Fuel Poverty: this chapter presents an analysis of the characteristics of households in fuel poverty and extreme fuel poverty. It also examines the key drivers of fuel poverty and how they have changed over time.
- Perceptions and Experiences: this chapter examines householders' reports of their experience and satisfaction with heating and the extent to which they monitor their use of energy.
- Housing Conditions: this part of the report provides information on the number of dwellings in compliance with the tolerable standard and the Scottish Housing Quality Standard (SHQS). It also covers the presence of dampness, condensation and disrepair as well as some indicators of overcrowding and under-occupation.
- Technical Notes: the final chapter provides information about the content of the survey and the definition of some of the key concepts used. Discussion on the statistical reliability of the estimates is also included.
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