Higher standards introduced for thousands of social housing tenants

Written by Kate Shannon on 1 April 2015 in News

Landlords expected to ensure homes meet the Scottish Housing Quality Standard

Rules which come into force today will require social landlords to ensure all their properties are energy efficient, meet health and safety standards and are in good repair.

Introduced in 2004, the Scottish Housing Quality Standard (SHQS) now becomes a requirement rather than a target.

Social landlords are now expected to ensure tenants’ homes are energy efficient, free from serious disrepair, have kitchens and bathrooms in good condition, and meet health and safety guidelines.

Over the last 10 years social landlords have invested heavily to improve the conditions of houses

Housing Minister Margaret Burgess said: “Making sure everyone in Scotland has access to good quality housing is a vital part of the Scottish Government’s drive to secure economic growth, social justice and tackle inequality.

“Over the last 10 years social landlords have invested heavily to improve the conditions of houses with social tenants now living in better quality homes with modern facilities, heating systems and safety features.

“These achievements show the benefits of a standards-led approach to improving the quality and energy efficiency of social housing.”

The Scottish Government said between 2007 and 2015 social landlords invested £3.3bn in improving housing stock.

It is projected that 94 per cent of Scotland’s 596,000 properties will comply with the standard by today, with just a small number reporting difficulties in meeting the new requirements.

The Scottish Housing Regulator is responsible for monitoring social landlords’ performance against the Standard through the Charter data collection and taking action where it thinks is necessary.

David Stewart, policy manager from the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations, said: “The Scottish Housing Quality Standard has seen significant investment by housing associations and co-operatives across Scotland, and this has led to them improving their tenants’ homes.

“With fuel poverty on the rise and fuel prices rising above inflation in recent years, we know it is vital that momentum is maintained and funds invested in Scotland’s homes.

“We look forward to continuing to work with our members, our partners and the Scottish Government on improving the standards and energy efficiency of Scotland’s homes.”

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