Date lodged: 1 September 2016
To ask the Scottish Government what steps it is taking to improve the provision of maintenance and repairs for social housing.
Answered by: Kevin Stewart 20 September 2016
The Scottish Government has set out minimum standards for maintenance and repair that can be expected by tenants in social housing. These standards are set out in the Scottish Housing Quality Standard (SHQS) and, by 2020, landlords will also have to meet the Energy Efficiency Standard for Social Housing (EESSH). We have made available £10 million in grant and loan funding over the last two years to help social landlords meet EESSH.
The performance of social landlords is monitored by the independent Scottish Housing Regulator who will engage with landlords who are at risk of not meeting standards. The Regulator’s most recent report found that 91.4% of social housing met the SHQS, and 68.6% of social housing already met the EESSH, in 2015-16. The report also found that tenants’ satisfaction with their landlord’s repairs and maintenance has improved, and that landlords are responding faster to emergency repairs.
In some cases maintenance and repairs to social housing in tenements are blocked by owners who are unable or unwilling to consent to common works. The Housing (Scotland) Act 2014 introduced a discretionary power for local authorities to pay missing shares, and we are seeking views from stakeholders on extending this power to registered social landlords. The Scottish Government has also established a stakeholder forum to consider a single condition standard for all housing tenures, and I announced earlier this week the launch of a pilot equity loan scheme to assist home owners with essential energy efficiency works and repairs.