New poll shows mixed housing experience across Scotland

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Eighty-three per cent of Scots are satisfied with their current housing situation while 16% are not, according to an exclusive new opinion poll commissioned to coincide with Scottish Housing Day, which takes place today, (September 21).

The poll also found that three quarters of Scots aspire to own their own home and that young adults face the biggest gap between their current housing situation and the type of housing in which they would ideally like to live.

Carried out by Progressive Scottish Opinion in conjunction with YouGov, the opinion poll asked 1,021 Scottish adults a series of questions about their current housing situation, the type of housing they expect to be living in in five years’ time as well as the type of housing they would ideally like to live in five years from now. The results are weighted to be representative of the Scottish population as a whole in terms of age, gender, education level, social status and geographic location.

Responding to the poll, 41% described themselves as ‘very satisfied’ with their current housing situation, be that as an owner occupier, renting from a private landlord, social renting or one of a range of other options. A further 42% said they were ‘fairly satisfied’ with their current housing situation while 11% said they were ‘fairly unsatisfied’ and 5% said they were ‘very unsatisfied’.

58% of respondents to the poll are currently owner occupiers with a further 14% living in the private rented sector and 17% living in social rented accommodation provided either by a housing association or their local authority. A further 10% currently live with parents, family or friends, either paying rent or rent-free.

The results of the poll suggest that owner occupation is still the preferred housing situation for the majority of Scots with 76% of those surveyed saying they would like to own their own home in the future, either outright or with a mortgage. The largest gap between people’s current housing situation, their future expectation and where they would ideally like to live is to be found in the 18 to 24 year-old age group. Only 6% of people from this age group identified themselves as owner occupiers right now. 29% of 18 to 24-year olds expect to become owner occupiers in five years’ time compared to 62% who would ideally like to own their own home by then. 46% of 18 to 24-year-olds expect to be living in the private rented sector by 2022, the highest percentage of any age group responding to the survey.

Building on the success of the inaugural day held in September 2016, this year’s Scottish Housing Day (Thursday, 21st September) aims to give the public easier access to the resources they need to make properly informed housing decisions. A broad range of local events are scheduled to take place throughout the day, hosted by a variety of housing organisations with the aim of raising public awareness of housing options and the great work people in housing do.

Scottish Housing Day 2017 is being led by a range of housing sector partners including the Chartered Institute of Housing in Scotland in partnership with Shelter Scotland, the Tenant Participatory Advisory Service (TPAS) Scotland, the Association of Local Authority Chief Housing Officers (ALACHO), the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA), the Glasgow and West of Scotland Forum of Housing Associations (GWSF), the Tenant Networks, Homes for Scotland and the Scottish Association of Landlords (SAL).

Housing Minister Kevin Stewart said:

“We welcome the findings of this poll and I’m proud to support this year’s Scottish Housing Day- a day that celebrates everything the housing sector is doing to improve people’s lives.

“The Scottish Government is investing more than £3 billion in affordable housing to deliver at least 50,000 affordable homes during the lifetime of this Parliament and we will continue to increase access to high-quality, energy-efficient and affordable homes.

“Our More Homes Scotland approach supports the supply of homes across all tenures and we will work closely with the housing sector to progress the construction of new homes and create jobs in construction industry.

“As well as our investment in affordable homes, we are supporting up to 5,000 households to buy their own home through the Open Market Shared Equity Scheme and the new Help to Buy (Scotland) schemes. And with the new Private Residential Tenancy coming in from December 2017, we will deliver greater security and stability for tenants in the private rented sector.”

CIH Scotland Executive Director Annie Mauger commented:

“As we mark this year’s Scottish Housing Day, it’s important to reflect that, in general terms, the Scottish population is better housed today than it has ever been. At the same time, this opinion poll also illustrates some of the challenges we face in matching the general population’s future housing aspirations with the realities of what is actually available. This is particularly true for Scottish adults in the youngest age bracket.

“The results of this poll also reinforce the view that it is right for the housing sector to continue to prioritise the delivery of more homes across a range of tenures as well as driving up standards in the private rented sector while also providing sustainable long-term housing solutions for our ageing population. Hopefully, the activities taking place this Scottish Housing Day will help to stimulate an ongoing debate on how we address these and other issues in Scottish housing – and provide the public at large with more of the information they need to be able to make informed housing choices.”