Scotland’s social housing stock has increased by just 1,000 since 2007

Scotland’s total social housing stock has increased by just 1,000 in the past 13 years according to analysis of trend data by property firm DJ Alexander Ltd.

The company examined official data and found that there were a total of 607,000 homes in the social housing sector in March 2007 and by March 2020 (the latest period for which there is data) there were 608,000 homes.

During this period, social housing as a percentage of the total housing market declined from 25% to 23% as aggregate stock numbers rose from 2,428,000 in March 2007 to 2,645,000 in March 2020.

During the 13-year period from 2007 to 2020, the number of properties in the private rental sector increased from 10.2% of the entire market to 14.9% by March 2020 while home ownership decreased from 61.5% to 58.2%. The real estate balance was in the second home/vacant segment which increased from 3.3% to 3.8%.

David Alexander, chief executive of DJ Alexander Scotland, commented: “These figures show that the housing problems currently facing Scotland stem from a failure of supply to meet demand. As the social housing sector has been broadly flat throughout this entire period, the sector has stepped in. The private tenant has expanded by 59.9% to meet the increasing demand of tenants.”

“We have a Scottish government that has been happy with the private rental sector to cover the shortfall in investment in social housing for the past 13 years but is now seeking to limit the incomes of landlords and property investors by introducing rent controls.”

“Instead of tackling the real problem – the failure to invest appropriately in social housing over an extended period of time – the Scottish Government now wants the private tenant sector to pay the price for their inability to meet the housing requirements of the people of this country.”

With the demand for housing increasing every year, it is essential to encourage all parts of the housing market to grow. Ditching the private sector renter due to rising rents will not only lower them when the Scottish government fails to provide adequate social housing for 13 years. The private charter sector has grown to meet the demand and is happy to provide such a service that would otherwise result in inadequate homes for workers from Scotland and elsewhere.”

He concluded: “The provision of adequate housing provided by all sectors is essential to ensuring that Scotland is a welcoming and growing economy, yet we see the Scottish Government not doing the daunting task of providing enough homes, instead blaming a sector it has encouraged Over the past year. 13 years. It simply will not wash out, and there is now a need for a large-scale and comprehensive housing strategy that builds more social housing, encourages more investment in the private rental sector, and builds more homes for homeowners. Otherwise, I fear it will evolve. A growing housing crisis in the future.”

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