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Dundee manifesto for housing

Reflecting the priorities of individuals with lived experience, housing rights activists, local communities and constituents, this co-produced manifesto sets out what must happen to tackle the housing emergency in Dundee.

1. Tackle Dundee’s housing supply crisis

Dundee is suffering from a lack of good quality, affordable and social homes of the right size in the places they are needed most.

  • All political parties should commit to delivering the social housing required to reduce affordable housing need in Dundee, including through maximising the use of empty and vacant properties throughout the city. This means delivering high quality, energy efficient social homes of the right size in the places they are most needed, as part of sustainable and vibrant communities.

  • Dundee City Council needs to deliver a wider variety of social homes to meet the needs of residents and different communities – including larger homes for multi-generational households, and smaller homes for young families and single people.

  • More needs to be done to tackle disrepair across all tenures in the city to give people a safe, warm place to call home. Investment is needed to bring homes up to standard and meet climate and fuel poverty ambitions.

2. Strengthen and enforce housing rights

Raising awareness of and enforcing housing rights are vital steps that the local authority can take to ensure that everyone has access to the homes and services they are entitled to.

  • The local authority needs to make people aware of their housing rights and enforce those rights in areas where they are currently failing to do so.

  • Those leaving prison, residential rehabilitation or hospital, or fleeing domestic violence, have the right to a safe home. Dundee City Council must enforce that right and ensure Sustainable Housing On Release for Everyone (SHORE) standards are adhered to.

  • Dundee City Council staff must be given the training and resources necessary for them to meet the needs of service users. Too often we hear of people being given the wrong advice, or support needs being ignored.

  • The local authority should work closely with service providers such as the Health and Social Care Partnership to better understand and solve the joint issues of addiction and homelessness, helping to maintain people’s right to a home while they seek and receive treatment.

3. End the temporary accommodation emergency

The existing homelessness and temporary accommodation system is failing to meet the needs of all individuals and is having a negative impact on many people, particularly those in need of additional support. More and more children are also being forced to live in temporary accommodation for long periods, including 235 as of the end of March 2021, with households with children spending on average 285 days in temporary accommodation.

  • Dundee City Council needs to invest in its temporary accommodation stock to ensure that it meets the needs of people who require it – including delivering more temporary housing that is suitable for young adults and families.

  • The local authority should increase the support available to people in temporary accommodation to ensure that their needs are being met and the accommodation is a safe environment for them. This includes provision of mental health support, and support into the right permanent accommodation as quickly as possible.

'People are stagnating, nothings moving forward and understandably their mental health is dropping and they are getting into more chaotic behaviours.'

4. Fix the broken private rented sector

Renters in Dundee are facing extreme issues in the private rented sector (PRS) – including disrepair, irresponsible landlords and high rent levels. For larger families, renting privately is becoming increasingly unaffordable, with rent levels for 3- and 4-bedroom properties in Dundee and Angus rising faster than inflation over the last 10 years.

  • Dundee City Council needs to do more to tackle disrepair in the PRS and prevent unscrupulous landlords from letting out substandard homes to people unable to access the social housing sector or afford higher quality private rented homes. The council should do more to clamp down on and take action against these opportunistic landlords.

  • The Council should ensure all existing legislation is used to tackle irresponsible landlords, such as through the landlord registration scheme. Engaging with tenants to get feedback on landlords and building a more effective form of monitoring and inspection would support this aim.

'When people experience for a long time that their options are limited we are noticing quite a number of people getting involved with not the most respectable of landlords, which is just exacerbating the situation because even when they are getting a house they are now in a worse situation. They are going into very cheap housing that is not up to par, not up to a healthy standard, especially when kids and family are involved.'

Download the Dundee manifesto for housing

Download the manifesto as a PDF