2.1 The Housing (Scotland) Act 2010 (The Act) introduced the Scottish Social Housing Charter (the Charter). The Act requires Ministers to set standards and outcomes that social landlords should achieve for tenants and other customers through their housing activities. It also requires Ministers to review the Charter standards and outcomes.
2.2 The Charter is a framework to strengthen and underpin the housing activities of social landlords rather than add new duties. The Charter does not replace any of the legal duties that apply to social landlords, but in several cases the outcomes describe the results social landlords should achieve in meeting their legal duties. It aims to support tenants and landlords by making clear what can be expected and providing a benchmark for comparison for landlords (for example, to help them make continuous improvements). It enables the Scottish Housing Regulator ( SHR) to monitor performance against the Charter indicators they have developed and published. It also helps tenants and other customers to compare their respective landord's performance against others and hold them to account.
2.3 The Charter's standards and outcomes aim to
- give tenants, homeless people and other customers a clear understanding of what they should expect from a social landlord;
- give landlords a clear understanding of what they should be delivering through their housing activities;
- provide the basis for the Scottish Housing Regulator to monitor, assess and report on the performance of social landlords.
Background to the consultation
2.4 The Scottish Government wished to hear the views of stakeholders on the Charter to inform its first five-year review. It published a written consultation on 1 June 2016 and publicised this widely. A copy was sent to all local authorities, RSLs, RTOs and other stakeholders. In addition to this formal consultation the Scottish Government held 12 events to seek the views of tenants and landlords across Scotland. The Scottish Government also commissioned the Tenant Participation Advisory Service and Tenants Information Service to undertake an 'Involving All' programme to review the Charter and assess its impacts with tenants who might normally be excluded or find it difficult to get involved. 'Involving All' entailed working with support agencies, specialist organisations and specific landlords to target, consult and collect the views of tenants and staff.
2.5 Responses to the written consultation paper on the existing outcomes and standards were invited by 24 August 2016. The consultation paper was set out in three parts. Section 1 asked for views on the impact of the current Charter; Section 2 sought views on the 16 current standards, outcomes and supporting narrative; and Section 3 invited views on anything else which should be added to the Charter.
2.6 This report presents the analysis of the responses to the written consultation.
2.7 The Scottish Government received 106 responses to the consultation. Most respondents submitted their views via the online system Citizen Space. Where responses were submitted in email or hard copy, these were entered manually onto the Citizen Space system to create one complete database of responses and to aid comparison of views and analysis.
2.8 73 responses were received from organisations  and the remaining 33 were from individuals. The organisations which responded represented a range of stakeholder categories with the largest category of respondent, following individual respondents, being TRGs (32 responses). Table 2.1 shows the distribution of responses by category of respondent. A full list of the organisations which responded is in the Annex. The respondent category applied to each response was agreed with the Scottish Government policy team.
Table 2.1: Distribution of responses by category of respondent
|Category||No. of respondents||% of all respondents|
|Tenants' and Residents' Groups and their Representative Bodies||32||30|
|Registered Social Landlords and their Representative Bodies||15||14|
|Public and Statutory Bodies||5||5|
|Grand total of individuals and organisations||106||100|
Analysis of responses
2.9 The analysis of responses is presented in the following 15 chapters which follow the order of the questions raised in the consultation paper. The analysis is based on the views of those who responded to the consultation and will not necessarily represent the views of the wider population.
2.10 The Citizen Space database was exported to an Excel working database for detailed analysis. Where respondents have requested anonymity and/or confidentiality, their views have been taken into account in the analysis but quotations have not been taken from their responses. Quotations have been included where these illustrate a point of view clearly and have been selected from a range of respondent groups.