Scottish housing

Housing to 2040, Scotland’s first long-term national housing strategy, has been published, setting out Scottish government’s ambitions for housing to meet the needs of its residents over the next 20 years. The route map stresses the role of custom and self building in delivering the diversity of homes that Scotland needs, and has extended the Self and Custom Build Loan Fund for another year to 2022.

“We will scale up opportunities for self-provided housing so people have more choices about the kinds of home they want to live in.”

At its heart, Housing to 2040 focuses on housing’s role in recovering from the pandemic and, meeting the nation’s housing needs, all, crucially, guided by the principles of social justice, equality and human rights.

The document drew on feedback from over 2,000 people, many of whom were young people about what they wanted out of housing and community.

Notably, Housing to 2040 makes reference to “self-provided” housing as an umbrella term, with the ambition for government to support the scaling up of opportunities, with these homes linked to the idea of quality.

The documents sets out that self-provided housing, “can include selfbuild (where a person builds their own house or appoints their own builder), custom-build (where a person tasks a house builder to tailor a home to their preferences before it is built) and collective build (where a group of people design and build several homes together).”

It also sets out that such homes meet people’s long-term needs, offering people choice, felxibility and quality in term of their home and its location, with the ability to embed affordabitiliy and energy efficiency in from the start. It also identifies the link with SME housebuilders and diversity, with all of associated benefits that stem from this.

The paper makes a direct link to the needs of rural and island communities and the role that self build has in these areas for meeting housing demand. This is especially for young people in these communities who often aspire to self building, where the mainstreaming of the route is identified as a core element in supporting young people to remain in the communities that they grew up in.

NaCSBA welcomes the fact that the plans are also substantive, and build on the successes of the Planning (Scotland) Act 2019, which made provision for Scottish authorities to prepare lists of people wanting to self build. It also works with the ambitions set out in the draft National Planning Framework 4 (NPF4) and the role of Community Land Scotland working to bring on land for a range of uses, including plots, in rural communities.

Moving forwards, Scot gov commits to learning from the pilot projects delivered by the Self and Custom Build Challenge Fund, and has extended the fund for another year to September 2022.

Scottish government also committed to create national advice service, and plans to encourage both local authorities and land owners to bring forward land for self-provided homes, including plots with infrastructure in place.
The plans are expected to encourage Lists of Persons with an Interest in Self-Build, set out in the Planning (Scotland) Act 2019, and publish guidance to help local authorities to develop lists of potential self-builders in their area.

National Planning Framework 4 sets out Scotland’s new approach to planning, with understanding that this sets out the framework under which the ambitions for the housing measures set out in Housing to 2040 will be delivered.

Angela Doran of Assemble Collective Self Build CIC and NaCSBA’s representative for Scotland said, “The measures set out by Housing to 2040 are very welcome as they set out the vision for what a housing mix should be, which includes self-provided housing. It’s a great step forward for Scotland that helps close the gap for custom and self build in comparison to England, which has had the Right to Build since 2015.”

 

Credit: Image by Sharon Ang from Pixabay

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