Housing as a human right

Today, the TIS Team are celebrating Scottish Housing Day 2019 to share and acknowledge the work of the social rented sector, and volunteers throughout Scotland who work to make our communities a better place to live.

This year the focus is on housing as a human right.

Nothing is more important to the welfare of Scotland’s people then a good quality home that meets needs and provides a safe, secure, and long-term foundation to live happily and develop their potential. Therefore, it is vital that everyone has a full range of housing options available to suit their circumstances – and that they understand what these are.

As well as being a crucial element of our country’s social wellbeing, housing is also intrinsically linked to its future economic growth and success.

While the UK is the 7th richest country, income inequality shows no signs of slowing down. Research shows that poverty is getting worse in Scotland – with 43% of children in socially rented homes living in relative poverty, and 25% in absolute poverty. While the number of households in fuel poverty has been declining, in 2017 there were still 613,000 households defined as being in fuel poverty. With the current welfare reform legislation in the UK rent affordability is a critical issue for tenants.

The Shelter Commission highlighted that 3.1 million more social housing are needed in the UK to meet unmet demand over the next 20 years.

So, today is an excellent opportunity to continue the debate in understanding how we address the challenges and inequalities that we face – and also, to continue the debate of what housing as a human right looks like, and what this involves.

Vision for the future

We are currently debating with the Scottish Government what housing and communities will look like by 2040. At the TIS National Housing Conference in 2019 our members identified their vision to 2040.

  • That social rented housing is recognised as a positive and equal choice;
  • That everyone should have the opportunity to access housing of the same quality and affordability as social housing;
  • That the welfare system if fair and compassionate;
  • That we work in partnership to eradicate homelessness and poverty;
  • That house building is increased for rent and sale;
  • That tenants’ are empowered and recognised as an integral part in driving service improvements and standards and;
  • That housing is viewed as a human right.

Ilene Campbell
TIS Chief Executive









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