Research reveals high levels of housing anxiety and discrimination

SOME 1.5 million adults in Scotland (36 per cent) are said to be currently “struggling with the condition, security, suitability, or affordability of their home”, according to research published by the housing charity, Shelter Scotland.

Says the research, conducted by pollsters, YouGov: “Three per cent – representing more than 130,000 adults – agreed they had experienced discrimination in the search for their current home and felt it was because of their ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, nationality, religion or disability.”

When children are added into the survey findings, the 1.5 million figure leaps to an estimated 1.9 million.

The total sample size was 2,060 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between April 6 and 12 this year, 2021. The survey was carried out online.

Adds Shelter Scotland: “The figures have been weighted and are representative of all Scotland adults (aged 18+). Of which 676 agreed they had experienced at least one of eight issues with the condition, security, suitability or affordability of their current home, or been discriminated against while trying to find it, and 90 said agree/ strongly agree they had been discriminated (currently or ever).

“Population estimates are calculated using the ONS mid-year estimates of the Scottish population, rounded to the nearest decimal point for figures over one million and to the nearest thousand for figures under one million. 1.5 million is 36 per cent of the population aged 18 and over.”

Among the findings:

  • “I/we do not have enough bedrooms in the home, meaning there is a need for unsuitable room sharing” = seven per cent (an estimated 310,000 adults);
  • “My home has a significant mould, condensation or damp problems” = 11 per cent (487,000);
  • “I cannot keep my home warm in winter” = 17 per cent (753,000);
  • “My home has safety hazards such as faulty wiring, fire risks, or hazards that could cause a fall” = five per cent (221,000);
  • “The home I live in is not structurally sound (it has significant defects/issues to the walls and/or roof)” = eight per cent (354,000);
  • “I/we regularly have to cut spending on household essentials to pay the rent/ mortgage payments on my home (of those that currently rent/ pay some rent/ own a mortgage)” = eight per cent (354,000);
  • “I worry that I might lose/ be asked to leave the home I am currently living in” = eight per cent (354,000); and
  • “(current home) I/we found it hard to find a safe, secure and affordable home because I experienced discrimination” = three per cent (133,000).

Picture credit: Shelter Scotland

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