Policy and Advocacy Priorities

We work with our frontline housing advisers, people who have experienced housing problems and homelessness, and key policy stakeholders to develop our policy positions and priorities. We focus on influencing and advocating for the changes that are required, including changes to legislation, policy or practice.

Policy and Advocacy Priorities

We work with our frontline housing advisers, people who have experienced housing problems and homelessness, and key policy stakeholders to develop our policy positions and priorities. We focus on influencing and advocating for the changes that are required, including changes to legislation, policy or practice.

Housing Supply

One of the key housing issues in Scotland is the lack of affordable social rented homes.

Everyone needs good quality housing to live and thrive in: having a home is central to every aspect of our wellbeing, from health to educational attainment to happiness.

There are :

  • over 14,000 households in temporary accommodation (October 2020)

  • more than 15,000 children who were homeless in 2019-20

  • thousands who live in homes that are overcrowded or don’t meet their needs

  • and many more who are forced to sleep rough, on a friend’s sofa, or choose between heating or eating.

For all these people, a good home is out of reach.

Despite record levels of investment in building more affordable housing over the Parliamentary term (2016 – 2021), waiting lists remain very high, homelessness is again on the rise, and more people are living in temporary accommodation for longer periods.

We are calling for an ambitious affordable building programme for the next Parliamentary term post 2021.

We require at least 53,000 affordable homes of which at least 37,100 must be social rented homes to reduce housing need in Scotland.

These figures are based on robust, independent academic research commissioned by Shelter Scotland, CIH and SFHA.

Rights

Housing is a human right, and is defined as such within the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, but there is still much work to do for that right to be realised in Scotland.

Everyone should have access to a safe, secure and affordable home.

Existing Scottish laws already include a lot of housing rights and go some way to protecting the human right to housing, but there is no legal right to a safe, secure and affordable home for everyone in Scotland.

We are continuing to advocate for the incorporation of the right to adequate housing to be put into domestic law, via a new Human Rights Act of the Scottish Parliament. This would resolve many of the gaps in current housing legislation and would be a significant step towards Scotland putting its rights aspirations into practice.

A new law on human rights would however only be the first step.

There are lots of rights that aren’t met in practice even though they have been incorporated from human rights treaties into our domestic law. People need to know their rights, and be able to enforce them, for their rights to be realised in practice.

There is also an issue around enforcement of these rights and a lack of accountability when these laws are not upheld.

We will therefore  continue to advocate for the changes required to makes sure people’s housing rights are upheld.

We’re here for everyone, but only with your support

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