Continued growth in PRS indicative of ‘dysfunctional’ housing supply

Andy Wightman
Andy Wightman

Statistics showing that the Scottish private rented sector has almost tripled since Holyrood was established show how “dysfunctional” the country’s housing supply has become, according to the Scottish Greens housing spokesperson.

The latest Scottish Household Survey, which was published yesterday, shows 14 per cent of all households live in privately rented homes, compared to just 5 per cent in 1999.

Commenting on the new figures Andy Wightman MSP said: “These figures show how dysfunctional our housing supply has become. Far too many people are being forced into renting due to unaffordable property prices and a lack of genuine housing tenure.

“We need to see transformative action over this Parliament to enable affordable and high quality housing for all. This should include ending the speculative volume house-building model, reform of the planning system to capture land values, promotion of self-procured, social and co-operative housing solutions and further reforms to the private rented sector to ensure that it provides the security and affordability that tenants need.”

Adam Lang
Adam Lang

Adam Lang, head of communications and policy at Shelter Scotland, urged the Scottish Government to follow through with its plans to reform the sector.

He said: “These figures are further confirmation of the need for pushing forward with reform of private renting in Scotland to make it more modern, stable, flexible and fairer for everyone that calls it home.

“Private renting in Scotland has tripled since 1999 with 350,000 households calling the sector home - including 91,000 with children. This growth along with major changes to the type of people now renting privately meant reform of the sector was vital. Shelter Scotland has been spearheading the push for reform to bring greater protection and increased security and fairness for tenants.

“Progressive and far-reaching changes in the laws on private renting – such as the new private tenancy – are a big step forward and will have a profound impact on how the sector is run. The challenge now is to enforce the legislation and to see that poorly performing landlords are supported to improve their practice and the worst landlords are removed from the sector.”

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