CHAPTER 1 POLICY CONTEXT
This document describes a Strategy for the private rented sector in Scotland. It is set within the broader context of the Scottish Government's outcome-based approach, including the overarching National Performance Framework and the Housing and Regeneration outcomes framework. It follows on from policy commitments made in the Scottish Government's Strategy for Housing - 'Homes fit for the 21st Century' (2011 - 2020)  .
Homes fit for the 21st Century
The Scottish Government's Housing Strategy was published in February 2011. The Strategy presents an ambitious agenda to increase new supply of housing, and to enhance the quality and sustainability of our existing housing stock and the surrounding neighbourhoods.
The Scottish Government is committed to taking a tenure neutral approach to housing and promoting mixed tenure communities, seeking sustainable choices for all rather than encouraging one particular tenure.
The Strategy emphasised the importance that housing plays in the physical, economic and social fabric of Scotland, and in delivering the Scottish Government's Purpose of sustainable economic growth. This was highlighted by Scottish Ministers in the foreword to that Strategy:
"Housing is about more than simply bricks and mortar. From children needing space to play and learn, to those seeking to buy or rent, to those requiring adaptations to continue living in their homes, housing touches everyone's lives, and in different ways. We believe that everyone should have a safe, warm home which they can afford, and we are committed to ensuring that this becomes a reality."
Scotland's National Performance Framework
Housing plays an integral part in achieving the Scottish Government's Purpose "…to focus government and public services on creating a more successful country, with opportunities for all of Scotland to flourish, through increasing sustainable economic growth."
The National Performance Framework outlines the outcomes-based approach to delivery of this Purpose. An outcomes approach shifts the focus of policy from processes and inputs, to a greater emphasis on the impact that the policy and its delivery has on the quality of life and experience for the people of Scotland.
As outlined in Figure 1, the Purpose is the overarching ambition for Scotland. This is supported by Purpose Targets, demonstrating progress towards the Purpose; Strategic Objectives, describing the focus of actions; and National Outcomes, describing in more detail what the Scottish Government wants to achieve. The National Indicators and targets track progress towards the achievement of the National Outcomes and ultimately the delivery of the Purpose. Further information is available on the Scottish Government website  .
The Concordat between local government and the Scottish Government, agreed in 2007, established a new relationship between national and local government based on greater autonomy for councils to use their resources to drive progress on the outcomes featured in the National Performance Framework. This enables local government to set out local priorities for service delivery, including housing, in a Single Outcome Agreement ( SOA).
Housing and Regeneration Outcomes Framework
The Housing and Regeneration Outcomes Framework supports the Scottish Government's National Performance Framework, with a focus on homes and communities. The Scottish Government's vision for housing in Scotland is for "…a Scotland where all people live in high quality sustainable homes that they can afford and that meets their needs." Four Housing and Regeneration outcomes have been identified as being crucial to achieving this vision:
- a well-functioning housing system;
- high quality, sustainable homes;
- homes that meet people's needs; and
- economically, physically and socially sustainable communities.
The operation and growth of the PRS contributes to all four of these outcomes. Therefore, achieving the vision and strategic aims for the sector set out in this Strategy is important for achieving the outcomes and vision for all housing in Scotland, and contributing to the Scottish Government's Purpose and National Outcomes.
Email: Yvonne Gavan