Scottish renters spend a quarter of income on housing

(Getty Images/iStock)
(Getty Images/iStock)

 

RENTERS in Scotland spend almost a quarter of their income on housing costs, the latest official statistics show.

Social rented households in Scotland spent an average of 24% of their net income on housing costs between 2013/14 and 2015/16, according to the Social Tenants in Scotland report.

This compares to 25% for private renters, 9% for owners with a mortgage and 3% for those who own their home outright.

The report found just under a third (32%) of social rented households in Scotland spent more than 30% of their net income on housing costs over the same period, lower than the equivalent figures of 50% in England and 46% in Wales.

The average weekly rent for social housing in Scotland was £74.44 in 2016/17, up 2.1% on the previous year.

Housing association rents averaged £80.28 a week, 16% higher than local authority rents of £69.20.

New code of practice for letting agents comes into force

An estimated 1.17 million people lived in social rented homes, including housing associations and local authority housing, in 2016.

There were 594,458 units of socially rented homes in 2016, a 0.1% drop of 594 from the previous year.

Scotland had a higher proportion of these homes at 23% compared to England (17%), and Wales (16%) in 2016.

The number of social rented housing lets fell slightly in 2016/17 to 52,924 a drop of 1,108 (2%) on the previous year.

Local authority properties were empty for an average of 36 days before being re-let in 2016/17, while the average for housing associations was 26.8 days.

Housing Minister Kevin Stewart said ensuring access to good quality, warm and affordable homes was a priority for the government.

He said: “Social housing in Scotland continues to be more affordable than England or Wales, which is vital at a time when UK Government welfare cuts are having a devastating impact on people across the country.

“We are increasing funding for discretionary housing payments – which significantly benefit those living in the social housing sector – by 5%, to over £60 million in 2018/19.

“That will enable us to continue mitigating the bedroom tax, and provide a lifeline for those who need extra help.”

He said the government had delivered nearly 71,000 affordable homes since 2007, with around 70% for social rent, and plan to provide 50,000 more, including 35,000 for social rent by 2021.

Cancel