3. A note about language
We use some key phrases throughout the Charter, which we explain below.
Housing (Scotland) Act 2010, Section 31
Section 31 of the Act says that:
'Ministers must set out standards and outcomes which social landlords should aim to achieve when performing housing activities.
The document in which those standards and outcomes are set out is to be known as the "Scottish Social Housing Charter".'
The Scottish Government has five long-term aims, known as the strategic objectives. Everything it does should contribute towards making Scotland:
- wealthier and fairer
- safer and stronger
The Charter supports the aim of creating 'A safer and stronger Scotland'.
- An outcome is a result we want to happen.
- The Charter sets out the results that a social landlord should achieve for its tenants and other customers.
- The Charter is not about what a landlord does or how it does it. It is about the customer's experience of using a landlord's services.
Scottish Housing Regulator
The Regulator is the new, independent body that the Scottish Parliament has created to look after the interests of people who are or may become homeless, tenants of social landlords, or users of the services that social landlords provide. The Regulator will monitor, assess, and report on how landlords are performing against the Charter's outcomes and standards.
Scottish Housing Quality Standard ( SHQS)
The SHQS is the Scottish Government's main way of measuring the quality of housing in Scotland. The Scottish Government wants social landlords to bring their stock up to the standard by April 2015. Some properties may not have to meet all parts of the standard.
- Housing provided by councils and housing associations under a Scottish Secure Tenancy or Short Scottish Secure Tenancy.
- A council landlord.
- A not-for-profit landlord, registered with the Scottish Housing Regulator (for example, a housing association, or co-operative).
- A council that does not own any housing but provides housing services, for example services for homeless people.
A person or organisation with an interest in social housing and the way it is regulated. The following are some examples of stakeholders:
- The Scottish Housing Regulator.
- Tenants of social landlords and bodies representing the interests of tenants.
- Homeless people and bodies representing the interests of homeless people.
- Users of housing services provided by social landlords and bodies representing the interests of those users.
- Social landlords and bodies representing the interests of social landlords.
- Secured creditors of registered social landlords and bodies representing those secured creditors.
- The Accounts Commission for Scotland.
- The Equalities and Human Rights Commissions and other bodies representing equal opportunities interests.
- A level of quality that every social landlord should achieve.
Tenants and other customers
- People who are already tenants of a social landlord.
- People who may become tenants in the future - for example, someone who has applied for a tenancy.
- Homeless people.
- People who use the housing services provided by a social landlord - for example, home owners who pay a social landlord to provide a factoring service, or Gypsies/Travellers who use sites provided by a social landlord.
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