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Has ‘affordable housing’ remained affordable across Scotland?

By: Shelter Scotland  Published: November 2020

In this report we consider the degree to which housing that is nominally ‘affordable’ in Scotland has remained so over the period 2013/14 – 2018/19.


Our findings show remarkable geographic variability.  Some local authorities in Scotland have seen modest increases in social rents between 2013/14 – 2018/19.  However, in virtually all cases increases in social rents have far outstripped changes in household incomes.  This is true for the change in median household incomes in Scotland (4% over the period 2013/14 – 2018/19) and more so for those households already in socially rented accommodation where household incomes have increased just 0.8% over the same time frame that social rents have increased, on average, 16%.
The document concludes by identifying some areas that merit further investigation with regard to rent setting policies in the social-rented sector.