Human rights legislation should aim to ensure that everyone has access to a safe and affordable home in Scotland, it has been suggested.
In a report published on Wednesday to mark Scottish Housing Day, a number of housing and tenancy organisations called for human rights to be incorporated in domestic law to protect the rights of homeowners and renters.
The paper, backed by groups including the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) Scotland and Shelter Scotland, said the move would allow councils, landlords and Government to be challenged if they violate a minimum set of rights.
The report also outlines a need for improvements in housing availability, affordability and accessibility across all sectors.
CIH Scotland’s national director and chair of the Scottish Housing working group, Callum Chomczuk, said a change in the law would be the first step towards educating the public and judiciary on the value of a human rights-based approach to housing.
He said: “Housing is a human right, so I am pleased that we are using the celebrations as part of Scottish Housing Day to make the case for greater consistency in what people experience and to highlight the need to ensure that we are building more of the right homes in the right places.
“Legislation will be only the first step and educating the public and judiciary about the value of this approach will take time.
“However, we know from experience in Scotland and in other countries how a rights-based approach to housing can improve the experiences of tenants, customers and homeowners.”
Communities Secretary Aileen Campbell said it was time to “come together” to shape a resilient housing system.
“Housing is embedded in so much that we want to achieve, including eradicating poverty and homelessness, tackling the effects of climate change and promoting inclusive growth,” she said.
“Now is the time for us to come together to shape a resilient housing system which addresses these challenges.
“In July, we published a draft vision for our homes and communities in 2040 and the supporting principles, including the right to an adequate home.
“Over the coming months, we will gather a wide range of views on how to make this a reality.”