Third of homes in Scotland fail to live up to expectations

1,140 people in Scotland were asked to rate their home against the Living Home Standard. Picture: Ian Georgeson
1,140 people in Scotland were asked to rate their home against the Living Home Standard. Picture: Ian Georgeson
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One in three homes in Scotland does not meet people’s expectations of what a good home should be, with a stark housing divide between generations and between renters and owners, a report has claimed.

Earlier this year, 1,140 people in Scotland were asked to rate their home against the Living Home Standard, which was developed to define what a good home should provide. But according to Shelter Scotland, 34 per cent of homes failed on one category or more, with young people, families with children, renters and people on low incomes most likely to live in homes that do not meet the new standard.

The standard is based on five “dimensions” of affordability, decent conditions, space, stability and neighbourhood.

Affordability and decent conditions were the two key areas where people’s homes failed most often, with an 18 per cent failure rate on each of the householders surveyed.

Eight per cent failed on having adequate space, six per cent failed on stability and three per cent on neighbourhood. Meanwhile, the study found that one in ten homes failed on more than one of these five core dimensions.

Adam Lang, head of communications and policy at Shelter Scotland, said: “This report shows us that one in three people in Scotland feel that their home fails in at least one of the Living Home Standard’s five key dimensions.

“It is clear that there is still a long way to go on making housing acceptable for everyone in Scotland, especially regarding decent conditions and affordability.

“The most damning conclusion from this research is the housing divide. The gap between people’s housing aspirations and what their homes actually provide them with is not evenly spread. For those who are young, who have children, who rent or have lower incomes, the gap is very much larger.”

He added: “A fairer Scotland needs to address the divide highlighted in this research. I believe it offers an opportunity to think about the next big horizons in housing. 

“Not just how many homes, but how those homes are within the reach of those who need them most.

“Not just better standards, but how those standards are delivered on the ground.

“And not just better legal protection, but how that empowers people to insist their housing rights are met.”