Local authorities receive high approval ratings for the management of their housing stock

“SIGNIFICANT improvements” have been achieved by local authorities in managing the quality and energy efficiency of their housing stock, plus the management of voids and repairs these last ten years.

The findings – covering the period 2010/11 and 2019/20 – are contained in a publication issued by The Improvement Service, which describes itself as the “national improvement organisation for local government in Scotland”.

Says the National Benchmarking Overview Report 2019/20 (here): “Councils continue to manage their housing stock well.

“Since 2010/11, the average time taken to complete non-emergency repairs has reduced by 28 per cent, from 10.2 days to 7.3 days.

“Rent lost to voids has also reduced across this period, from 1.3 per cent to 1.1 per cent.

“However, since 2017/18 the percentage of rent lost has begun to increase, growing by 0.2 percentage points in the most recent two years. “

The review continues: “In 2019/20, £12.8m was lost due to voids, compared to £10.5m in 2017/18. There have been consistent and significant improvements in terms of housing standards, with 95 per cent of properties now meeting SHQS [Social Housing Quality Standard].

“Energy efficiency has also continued to improve, with the percentage of council dwellings that are energy efficient rising by 19 percentage points, from 65 per cent to 84 per cent between 2015/16 and 2019/20. (Note, to reflect new energy efficiency standards, the LGBF [Local Government Benchmarking Framework] now uses the Energy Efficiency Standard for Social Housing (EESSH) as a reference instead of the NHER [National Home Energy Rating] – SAP [Standard Assessment Procedure]).

“At the same time, the continued rate of growth in tenants’ rent arrears from 5.6 per cent to 7.3 per cent between 2013/14 and 2019/20 reveals evidence of the increasing financial challenges facing both housing residents and councils alike. In 2019/20, this rate stabilised for the first time since 2013/14.”

Picture credit: Place Design Scotland

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