CIH Scotland responds to public consultation for Scottish housing bill

The Chartered Institute of Housing Scotland has warned that the Scottish government’s proposed rent control measures could discourage investment in new housing supply.

In a response to a consultation on the proposed Housing Bill, Ashley Campbell, policy and practice manager at CIH Scotland said: ”While we agree that affordability issues in the private rented sector need to be addressed, proposed rent control measures have the potential to cause greater uncertainty, leading to a risk of landlords leaving the sector and discouraging investment in new supply.”


CIH Scotland have responded to the public consultation for Scotland’s housing bill

Campbell however said CIH Scotland is supportive of the bill in principle and believes the  bill’s proposals to tackle homelessness and domestic violence could make a “positive impact.”

The proposed new housing bill for Scotland would enable ministers to limit rent increases within designated “rent control areas”. Local authorities would be required to report to minsters every five years about the rental conditions in their area. 

The bill would also require social landlords to create a policy on how they will aid tenants who are in danger of becoming homeless due to domestic abuse. Social landlords would also be required to ask about a person’s housing situation and act to prevent them becoming homeless wherever possible. 

>>See also: How do we respond to the devastating affordable housing funding cuts in Scotland?

Campbell also said there was a “lack of detail” surrounding the ”ask and act duty”, which would require social landlords as well as health boards and the police to ask about a person’s housing situation and then take measures to stop them from becoming homeless. 

“We also have significant concerns about the levels of resources that will be required to effectively implement the measures set out in the bill,” Campbell said. 

Campbell added that if the rent control measures lead to a drop in residential supply, the bill could exacerbate the housing crisis.