The Scottish government has published its first ever long-term national housing strategy, setting out the country’s ambitions for housing over the next 20 years. Recognising the importance of everyone having a safe and affordable home that meets their needs, Housing to 2040 – Scotland’s first long-term housing strategy – outlines what the Scottish Government wants housing and communities to look and feel like for the people of Scotland, with actions on how to get there.
Key priorities in the strategy, which will be taken forward subject to the outcome of the election, include:
- delivering 100,000 more affordable homes by 2032, with at least 70% of these being for social rent.
- setting a single set of standards for housing quality and accessibility, no matter whether a home is owned or rented
- tackling high rents in the private sector and supporting fair, accessible private and social rental sectors through a Rented Sector Strategy and Housing Bill
- decarbonising heating in all homes in line with Scotland’s climate ambitions, ensuring this is done in a fair and just way, including by adapting and retrofitting existing homes
- aiming for all new homes delivered by Registered Social Landlords and local authorities to be zero emissions by 2026
- establishing a new fund to help local authorities bring empty homes back into residential use
- supporting housing development in rural and island areas, helping to prevent depopulation and enabling communities to thrive
- continuing with an updated plan to end homelessness and rough sleeping once and for all
- undertaking a comprehensive audit of current housing and homelessness legislation to understand how best to realise the right to adequate housing.
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Communities Secretary Aileen Campbell said:
“Homes are not simply bricks and mortar. They support people’s health, wellbeing and life chances, can help to tackle poverty and climate change, and are a major investment in the economy. Housing policy is essential in helping us achieve our ambitions for a fairer, more equal Scotland.
“Housing to 2040 sets out a vision for what we want homes and communities to look and feel like for people regardless of their stage in life or where they live. It is a vision where homes are affordable for everyone, where standards are the same across all tenures, where homes have easy access to green space and essential services, and where homelessness, child poverty and fuel poverty have all been eradicated.
“We have already delivered almost 100,000 affordable homes since 2007, and before the pandemic we were on track to meet our target of 50,000 during this parliament. The pandemic interrupted the housing sector’s ability to hit this target, but we are committed to meeting it as soon as it is safe to do so. From there, we will start our new ambition to deliver a further 100,000 affordable homes by 2032.
“Our strategy shows how we will take this forward while tackling empty homes and poor housing, increasing energy efficiency and working to eradicate fuel poverty. In developing Housing to 2040 we have engaged with more than 2,000 people, including at 22 events across Scotland and through nationwide consultation. They told us what a good home and a vibrant community looks and feels like, and I’d like to thank them for their input.
“After a year when we have all seen the value of having a warm, safe place to live, this new long-term strategy will ensure every person in Scotland has a home that meets their needs.”