The Scottish House Condition Survey revealed that 75 per cent of Scottish homes are in a state of disrepair and 57 per cent have “disrepair to critical elements.” Marc Horne explains in an article on The Times website.
Three out of four homes need repair as fuel poverty rises
Three quarters of Scotland’s 2.6 million homes have some form of disrepair, a substantial increase on the previous year, a report has revealed.
The Scottish government published its analysis into the state of the country’s homes yesterday.
The Scottish House Condition Survey also revealed that 57 per cent of properties have “disrepair to critical elements”, up seven percentage points. The number of homes requiring urgent repairs increased in 2018 from 28 per cent to 30 per cent.
The survey also showed that fuel poverty rose for the first time in five years, with 25 per cent of households struggling with energy costs. It rose from just under 24 per cent the previous year.
Kevin Stewart, the housing minister, conceded that the figure was unacceptably high. He said: “Making sure everyone has a safe, warm place to call home is central to the Scottish government’s drive for a fairer and more prosperous Scotland.
“It is encouraging to see the number of households in extreme fuel poverty is steadily falling but numbers still remain unacceptably high, which is why we introduced the Fuel Poverty Act, passed unanimously by the Scottish parliament last year. By the end of 2021, we will have allocated more than £1 billion since 2009 to tackle fuel poverty and improve energy efficiency to make homes warmer and cheaper to heat.”
However, Graham Simpson, the Scottish Conservative housing spokesman, accused the government of overseeing a housing crisis.
He said: “Not only do we not have enough homes generally, but the housing we do have is simply not of a high enough standard, and things are getting worse.
“The SNP has been in charge of housing for almost 13 years, and has to take full responsibility for this decline in standards.”
Shelter Scotland said that it was concerned by the rises. Graeme Brown, its director, said: “It is shocking to think that a quarter of households face a struggle to keep their homes warm and put hot food on the table in a wealthy nation such as ours. While some progress has been made on the housing conditions people face, hundreds of thousands are denied their basic right of a warm and healthy home.”
Jamie Stewart, the fair markets spokesman for Citizens Advice Scotland, said that the figures were “a sorry state of affairs for Scotland”, adding that having “over 600,000 homes in fuel poverty, and 279,000 in extreme fuel poverty shows the staggering scale of this problem”.
He said: “In the upcoming Scottish budget we want the Scottish government to commit to doubling spending on energy efficiency.”