Understanding the Housing Aspirations of People in Scotland

This report explores the elements that make up people’s housing aspirations and the drivers of their aspirations. It develops understanding of these factors and makes policy recommendations based on the findings.

1. Introduction

Background and Aims

1.1. One of the Scottish Government's (2011) housing and regeneration outcomes is to deliver housing that meets people's needs. This qualitative research project was commissioned to provide policy makers and practitioners with a better understanding of this aspect of need and demand as it relates to aspirations. It seeks to add depth and nuance to existing survey data (SHCS 2013; Ipsos-MORI 2010; Clegg et al 2007). This report presents the findings from this research, which involved semi-structured interviews and focus groups with 80 people. The study had four key research questions:

  • What are peoples' short and long-term housing preferences, in terms of tenure, house-type and location?
  • How might we understand the drivers behind these preferences?
  • How do these preferences vary by different sections of the population? (Specifically older and younger households, the squeezed middle[1], people with disabilities, those in rural areas, people in actual/potential regeneration areas).
  • How knowledgeable are people about the different housing options available to them? Where do they get their information/advice from?

Research Methods

1.2. The study adopted a qualitative methodology, involving interview and focus group research with 80 people across Scotland between February-June 2015 (See Appendix for details). The sample of participants was recruited to reflect Scotland's diverse geographies and socio-economic variances in Scotland's citizens. We adopted a two-pronged approach to recruitment operating at different scales:

  • National level (Scotland wide): we contacted 500 past respondents to the Scottish House Condition Survey, receiving a response rate of 6 per cent (n=30). We topped this up through advertising online and through drawing on our network of gatekeeper organisations (n=15).
  • Local Authority Case Studies: we recruited 35 people across five case studies in: Aberdeen City, Argyll and Bute, Perth and Kinross, Renfrewshire and the Scottish Borders (See Appendix 2 for profiles). These locations were chosen to reflect variances in house prices and tenure structures, as well as to allow for an exploration of rural and urban differences.


Email: Julie Guy

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