06 Feb 2024

CIH Scotland publishes new paper on what the housing sector wants to see in 2024

The Scottish Government is expected to introduce a new Housing Bill ahead of the Parliament’s summer recess which is anticipated to cover some of the commitments set out in Housing to 2040 and the draft rented sector strategy, A New Deal for Tenants. While the detail of the Bill is still being developed, it is expected to include:

  • A new duty for all social landlords to introduce a domestic abuse policy
  • A new homelessness prevention duty
  • A national system of rent control for the private rented sector (PRS)
  • Greater rights for tenants to personalise their homes and keep pets

However, housing policy and practice is determined by more than legislation and as such, the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) Scotland has today published a new policy paper, based on engagement with members, which notes other priority areas where it wants to see the Government make a policy response in 2024, including a greater focus on housing professionalism, the development of a national strategy on workforce planning and more financial support for the Affordable Housing Supply Programme.

Commenting on the paper, CIH Scotland’s national director Callum Chomczuk said:

“While there is a lot to welcome in the proposed Housing Bill, the policy on rent controls causes us concern. With the PRS demonstrably shrinking and social housing development following the same direction, we have concerns around the unintended consequences of capping rents in the PRS leading to a further collapse in supply of PRS homes. It is vital that any rent control policy is proportionate and based on robust data to demonstrate the need for intervention.

“However, the proposed legislation only informs part of the Scottish housing policy landscape. We ended 2023 with a decision from the Scottish Government to cut around £200m from the Affordable Housing Supply Programme and it is a decision that will put a pause on much development activity and further increase the financial pressure on social landlords.

“CIH Scotland and its members are ambitious for Scotland’s housing system, and we believe there is the opportunity for radical change which meets the ambition of Housing to 2040. This includes our desire to see housing recognised and supported as a dedicated profession, as set out in this paper.

“However, at this time, we also need a real focus on housing supply and homelessness.  Among the range of policies our members want to see progressed, this remains the top priority for Scotland’s housing sector.”