The Scottish government has said it intends to “increase affordability and quality of choice” for renters living in all parts of the country over the course of the next 20 years.
An overarching strategy branded as ‘Housing to 2040’ is soon to be unveiled with a particular focus on trying to make the rental sector better in a variety of ways for people who do not own their homes.
That ‘roadmap’ is to be published by the Scottish government later this month, with proposals being put forward for changes to laws relating to socially funded accommodation and the rented housing sector.
Outlining some of the Scottish government’s intentions, housing minister Kevin Stewart said recently that making improvements to the rental sector represents a vital part of the Housing to 2040 strategy.
He told a virtual event staged by the Chartered Institute of Housing that the aim is to “improve accessibility, affordability and standards across the whole rented sector”.
Housing costs are a high priority issue and often a major cause of financial concern for millions of individuals and families living throughout Scotland.
A poll conducted by YouGov on behalf of Shelter Scotland in December last year found that a quarter of renters and mortgage holders worried about not being able to cover their housing costs in 2021.
The research also showed that close to a third of Scots were forced to borrow money via overdrafts, credit cards or friends and family to keep up with their housing bills in 2020.
Shelter Scotland has warned that a significant number of people have been building up rent arrears while the pandemic has been going on and for many the issue has been a huge source of stress and anxiety.
“Too many people are living under intolerable pressure just to keep the roof over their heads,” Shelter Scotland director Alison Watson said in December.
“The only way to tackle the housing emergency and give hope to struggling families is to keep building more affordable homes.”
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The Scottish government has committed to spending £64 million next year to help people in all parts of the country reduce their energy bills.
Ministers of the UK government have committed to phasing out the £20 uplift in the regular payments made via the Universal Credit system.
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