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. The 'Squeezed Middle' reflects a category of low to middle income households who are feeling the impact of the recession because of wage stagnation and a decline of in-work benefits. They earn below the median income, but are not reliant on social-security benefits (The Economist 2013).

2. The Housing (Scotland) Act 2001 introduced the modernised Right to Buy, which restricted available discounts and increased the qualifying period. The Housing (Scotland) Act 2014 will end the Right to Buy from 1st August 2016 for housing association and council tenants.

3. Our own approach to 'affordability' is to see it as a contested and subjective concept. It reflects personal judgements of one's own financial circumstances, which are in turn shaped by wider structural factors (e.g. wage levels, local employment opportunities, cost of living)

4. This related to Local Housing Allowance changes brought about by reforms to the Shared Accommodation Rate of Housing Benefit, which now affects under 35s, as opposed to under 25s.

5. Figures from ONS (2013) highlight that 26 per cent of 20-34 year olds in the UK are now residing in the family home.

6. NIMBYism has been widely documented in planning research (see for example, Matthews et al 2015). It draws attention to opposition to new developments from local people.

7. The Housing (Scotland) Act 2014 introduces a new Private Rented Housing Tribunal to settle disputes; introduces new safety requirements on landlords; and allows third parties (e.g. local authorities) to refer concerns about the condition of PRS properties (Joint Housing Policy and Delivery Group 2015). In addition the consultation on reforms to PRS tenancies proposes greater security of tenure, giving tenants a stronger basis to assert their rights (Scottish Government 2015).

8. Statistic supplied by Communities Analytical Services, Scottish Government.

9. Visionslive offer a secure platform for running online focus groups in the social sciences:


Email: Julie Guy

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