Scottish Housing Day 2022 marked with release of new report on housing sustainability

Scottish Housing Day 2022 marked with release of new report on housing sustainability

Sustainability is the theme of this year's Scottish Housing Day

A high level of housing standard that meets our economic, social and environmental ambitions as a country is essential if we want a housing system that is truly sustainable, a new report has concluded to celebrate the 7th annual Scottish Housing Day which is taking place today.

The report sets out the case for new, more ambitious cross-tenure housing standards but also notes the need for government to have a key role in funding these new higher standards.

Informed by surveys and workshops attended by housing professionals and tenants, over 100 respondents fed into the determinations of the report and set out their vision for a new sustainable housing standard for Scotland.

Commenting on the report, CIH Scotland’s national director Callum Chomczuk said: “In its 20-year housing strategy, Housing to 2040, the Scottish Government set out a commitment to a new housing standard which will create a single set of quality and accessibility standards, no matter whether a home is owned or rented.

“Feedback from housing professionals and tenants in this new report shows that many are ambitious about the scope for a new standard and the transformative effect it could have on Scotland’s housing stock and its people.

“We are already making progress towards such a standard with the Heat in Building Strategy setting out new minimum requirements on EPC rating and work is ongoing on developing a shared understanding of affordability and reviewing Housing for Varying Needs.

“But we are yet to discuss what new space standards may look like, the principles that should underpin the standards and ultimately how will they be paid for. We look forward to working with the Scottish Government to start to consider our collective ambitions for a new Housing Standard.”

The paper also notes how housing affordability is central to any concept of sustainability and reflects the requirement for investment in both new build and existing stock as we seek to meet net zero ambitions. There is a clear call for adequate financial support and advice so that people understand the most appropriate solutions for their home, regardless of housing type or tenure.

Sally Thomas, chief executive of the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA), said: “The findings of the report align with SFHA’s ambition that everyone in Scotland should have a good quality, safe, warm, energy efficient and affordable home for life.

“Our members are already at the forefront of raising housing standards – whether on affordability, energy efficiency, space or design – and they will be vital to continuing this work. However, in order to keep delivering the affordable homes that Scotland needs, maintain existing stock, and ensure that meeting net zero targets does not increase costs for tenants, housing associations must remain financially viable social businesses. SFHA will continue to work with the Scottish Government, our members, and other partners to find solutions to these challenges.”

Scottish Housing Day is an annual event aimed at encouraging discussion on a particular challenge or issue in the housing sector, as well as encouraging the sector and members of the public to get involved by organising events, Q&A sessions, and sharing stories and blogs via social media.

It is delivered in partnership with Aberdeen Citywide Multistorey Group, the Association of Local Authority Chief Housing Officers (ALACHO), CIH Scotland, Citizens Advice Scotland, Existing Homes Alliance Scotland (EHA), Homes for Scotland, Scottish Association of Landlords (SAL), Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA), the Scottish Government, TPAS Scotland, Under one Roof and Wheatley Group.

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