With the cost of living rising at the fastest pace in thirty years, Ruth Maguire MSP has asked the Scottish Government how it will ensure that affordable housing remains affordable. 

Speaking in the Scottish Parliament, during Health and Social Care Portfolio Question Time, on Wednesday, SNP MSP Ruth Maguire highlighted the yearly rent increases households are facing and asked the Scottish Government what action it is taking to ensure rent is affordable: 

“Rent payments are the single biggest cost for many households. Year on year, rent increases from social landlords squeeze already stretched family budgets. What is the Scottish Government doing to ensure that affordable housing is truly affordable?” 

Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice, Housing and Local Government, Shona Robinson MSP responded:

“We have a clear interest in housing association rent affordability. That is even more the case given the pandemic, which for many people has caused hardship and increased living costs. 

Individual social landlords are legally required to consult their tenants on any rent increases, and to strike the best balance between rent levels and meeting the housing needs of local communities. The Scottish social housing charter requires landlords to take account of what current and prospective tenants are likely to be able to afford, and the Scottish Housing Regulator monitors rent levels and rent affordability. 

We are considering how to build on the strong work on rent setting in the social rented sector that has already been put in place as part of the rented sector strategy that we are currently consulting on. Lastly, we have committed to develop a shared understanding of housing affordability that is fit for the future and takes account of the real costs of housing.” 

Providing further comment Ruth Maguire MSP said:  

“Good quality, affordable housing plays a vital role in tackling poverty and inequality so it is crucial that policy aspirations and intent match the experience for our people in our communities.  I welcome the Scottish Governments commitment to understanding housing affordability and would encourage constituents to take part in the consultation so that their views and experiences are heard.” 

ENDS