New project to explore tenants’ priorities for reforming of private rented sector
The Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF), in partnership with the Scottish Government, has appointed a multi-disciplinary research team to deliver a new project exploring what people living on a low income want to see from further reform to the private rented sector in Scotland.
The Scottish Government has committed to tackling unaffordable rents and publishing a new Rented Sector Strategy by the end of 2021, informed by tenants and sensitive to current inequalities in housing, that will inform a new Housing Bill in 2022.
Edge Hill University, working with housing specialists from a consortium of universities including Stirling, Glasgow, and others, will lead a 10-month project to explore low-income tenants’ priorities for change. As well as identifying what needs to change from tenants’ perspectives, the research team will bring together tenants, housing specialists, landlords and policymakers to agree shared, specific, and deliverable recommendations for positive change.
Chris Birt, deputy director for JRF in Scotland, said: “We all need a warm, safe and secure home that meets our needs, that is somewhere we want to live and which we can genuinely afford. Sadly, for too many people in Scotland, that is still not the case.
“It is vital that any further reform of our private rented sector delivers significant improvements for tenants – particularly those on lower incomes, facing unaffordable or poor-quality housing who often have little real choice. In this project, we will support tenants to explore what could make the biggest difference to them and ensure it is those priorities which drive any future reform.
“We are delighted to be joined by a wide range of partners including private landlords, homelessness organisations and those representing tenants, who as part of an Expert Advisory Group will use their expertise to help co-design potential solutions alongside tenants, following the initial research phase this year.”
Tenants’ rights minister Patrick Harvie said: “I am delighted to be working with the Joseph Rowntree Foundation on this important project, hearing directly from tenants on low incomes to inform our forthcoming Rented Sector Strategy.
“Homes are more than bricks and mortar – good housing can improve health, wellbeing, and life chances – but we know many people are still living in rented homes that are insecure, expensive, and do not meet their needs. We have already made significant progress in improving standards and tenants’ rights, but we must and will do more. This project will help to ensure that tenants’ voices are at the heart of our work building a better, safer, fairer private rented sector.”