15 Mar 2021
The Scottish Government has launched its new strategy on the long-term future of the housing sector, setting out its priorities for Housing to 2040.
In its response the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) Scotland welcomes the publication of the strategy and the commitment to a long-term plan for the housing sector. The Institute notes the commitment to legislate for a right to adequate housing, a 10-year focus on increasing supply of affordable housing and a new cross tenure rented strategy have the potential to transform the housing system for tenants and communities.
Specifically CIH Scotland note that given the intention to improve the “affordability, accessibility and standards of the whole rented sector” then there is a need for the Scottish Government to work with the sector to develop a framework so housing professional can access the right support, training and skills to ensure everyone has a place to call home.
In addition CIH Scotland note that plans for new standards to improve the quality of all homes, an update of housing for varying need, new accessibility standards and more ambitious energy efficiency standards across all tenures of housing provide an opportunity to ensure all of Scotland’s housing stock is fit for purpose for people at all ages and stages of their life.
Callum Chomczuk National Director of CIH Scotland said:
“Back in 2019 we consulted with housing professionals across Scotland about their priorities for the next 20 years. Through a series of focus groups, surveys and face to face discussion our members were clear that they wanted to see housing realised as a human right, that they wanted to see increased investment in affordable housing and they wanted to see housing professionalism underpin this vision.
“It is encouraging to see so much of CIH members' priorities reflected in this strategy including a focus on increased housing standards across tenures. While the focus on building 100,000 affordable homes will rightly get many of headlines, and is to be welcomed, the development of a cross tenure rented strategy, an audit of existing housing and homelessness legislation and introducing a legislative right to adequate housing is potentially ground-breaking.
"However, given the intention to improve the 'affordability, accessibility and standards of the whole rented sector' we are disappointed that the role of housing professionals is not reflected prominently within the vision, as has been in the UK government’s recent social housing white paper.
"We believe that a clear focus on professionalisation and supporting housing practitioners to achieve the knowledge, skills and behaviour they need to deliver the strategy is crucial. We hope that the upcoming review of a rented sector strategy and audit of homelessness and housing legislation will demonstrate the need for investment in housing professionals.
“Ultimately we welcome the publication of the strategy and look forward to working with the Scottish Government and partners across the sector on delivering the priorities set out in Housing to 2040. This includes ensuring that national and local budgets meet the ambition of the plan, that there is the appropriate oversight and implementation of the policies to reflect the needs of sector and; housing professionals, across all tenures, are given the right support, training, and skills to deliver on the strategy.”