New research from the Scottish Housing Regulator highlights the extent of the financial difficulties being experienced by tenants. The report brings together feedback from the National Panel of Tenants and Service Users.
A quarter of panel members who responded said that they are not currently managing well financially, with around 6 in 10 saying that their financial circumstances are worse than before the pandemic. Many linked these difficulties to increased cost of living and rent increases. More than 7 in 10 were concerned about future affordability of their rent.
More than half of respondents had experienced difficulty heating their home, with more than double the number from the previous year stating energy costs as the main factor contributing to these difficulties.
The insight into tenants’ financial circumstances was part of the annual programme of research from the Regulator’s National Panel, which combines quantitative results with qualitative findings. Panel members also fed back on the continuing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on services from their landlord and accessing services digitally.
Iain Muirhead, the Regulator’s Director of Digital and Business Support, said: “Once again, the National Panel report has highlighted the very real and continuing challenges being faced by tenants and their families in the current difficult economic context. This is even more sobering given that the survey work took place last year before the cost of living crisis started to escalate to its current level. This report helps to illustrate the critical and continued importance of the work landlords can do to support their tenants, including those who are struggling financially.”
The research was carried out for the Regulator by Engage Scotland.
The Panel has around 470 members. It is open to anyone who is a social housing tenant or uses social landlords’ services. Membership is diverse and includes people from urban and rural areas, across age bands, local authority and RSL tenants. Anyone interested in joining the Panel should contact SHR at firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to editors
- The Scottish Housing Regulator was established on 1 April 2011 under the Housing (Scotland) Act 2010. Its objective is to safeguard and promote the interests of tenants and others who use local authority and RSL housing services. The Regulator operates independently of Scottish Ministers and is accountable directly to the Scottish Parliament. It assumed its full regulatory responsibilities on 1 April 2012. The Regulator consists of the Chair and eight Board members. More information about the Regulator can be found on its website at housingregulator.gov.scot
- SHR sets out how it regulates social landlords in its published framework – Regulation of Social Housing in Scotland.
- The Regulator’s previous reports on its research from the National Panel of Tenants and Service Users is available on its website https://www.housingregulator.gov.scot/for-tenants/national-panel-of-tenants-and-service-users-research-reports
- More information about the National Panel of Tenants and Service Users and how to join is available on the Regulator’s website https://www.housingregulator.gov.scot/for-tenants/how-we-involve-tenants-and-service-users/national-panel-of-tenants-and-service-users