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THE SCOTTISH HOUSE CONDITION SURVEY MAIN FINDINGS

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The following is a precis of the main findings of the Scottish House ...
The following is a precis of the main findings of the Scottish House

Condition Survey 1996 showing the different categories covered by the

report. The findings also show where there have been changes since

the first Scottish House Condition Survey in 1991.

PROFILE OF HOUSING IN SCOTLAND

-- Of the 2,232,000 dwellings in Scotland, 2,123,000 (95%) are

occupied and 109,000 (5%) are vacant.

-- Of the 109,000 vacant dwellings, the majority (59%) are

considered to be transitional, that is they have become occupied by a

new household between the socio-economic interview and the physical

dwelling inspection (47%), or were empty while the property was sold

or relet (12%). Almost one-third (31%) are not being marketed and

probably reflect longer term vacant dwellings. The status of the

remaining 10% of the vacant dwellings is unknown.

-- The majority of occupied dwellings in Scotland are houses

(1,317,000) rather than flats (805,000). However, the proportion of flats in Scotland at 38% is significantly higher than in the other parts of the UK.

-- Over one-third of dwellings (759,000) were built in the last 30

years and, with a further 28% (590,000) constructed between 1945 and

1964, post-war housing now constitutes 64% of Scottish housing.

-- Based on the Scottish Homes definition of rural, 83% of dwellings

are in urban areas and 17% are in rural areas. However, in the

post-1982 period 22% of dwellings were built in rural areas.

AMENITIES AND FACILITIES

-- In almost all aspects relating to provision of amenities, the private rented sector contains the poorest stock. Taken overall, the housing association stock performs best in relation to the provision of amenities.

-- Between 1991 and 1996 there were a number of key areas

where the provision of amenities improved. The number of dwellings

lacking one or more standard amenities fell from 10,000 (0.5%) to 5,000 (0.2%), lacking a fixed bath or shower fell from 7,000 (0.3%) to 2,500 (0.1%) and lacking exclusive use of a WC fell from 3,000 (0.1%) to 500 (0.0%).

BELOW TOLERABLE STANDARD DWELLINGS

-- The Survey estimates 21,000 (1.0%) of occupied dwellings fall

Below Tolerable Standard (BTS) in Scotland. The true BTS figure is

somewhat higher than this since there are some elements of the BTS

assessment which cannot be captured given the constraints of a

walk-through non-intrusive survey.

-- The most common reason for occupied stock failing the Standard

is associated with rising or penetrating damp. Seven thousand dwellings fail for this reason. The next most common reason for failure is inadequate provision of natural and artificial light, ventilation and heating which accounted for 5,000 dwellings.

ENERGY EFFICIENCY AND HEATING ARRANGEMENTS

-- The mean NHER in Scotland is 4.1. Properties built under current

building regulations are expected to achieve an NHER rating of around 7. More than nine in ten dwellings (93%) do not achieve this energy rating.

-- The NHER model predicts that total carbon dioxide emissions from

housing amounts to 17.8m tonnes per year.

-- Nearly three-quarters of all households have full central heating

(1.559 million, 74%) and a further 14% have partial central heating. This represents a 9% increase in dwellings with any form of central heating since 1991. Approximately 271,000 dwellings in Scotland do not have any form of central heating (13%).

DAMPNESS AND CONDENSATION

-- In 1996, 25% of all dwellings (534,000) were judged by

surveyors to suffer from problems of dampness or condensation.

-- Surveyors recorded 91,000 dwellings (4%) as having both

dampness and condensation, 84,000 dwellings (4%) as having

dampness only, and 354,000 dwellings (17%) as having condensation

only.

-- Households renting from either the public or private sectors,

single parent families, large families and households on lower incomes

experience a substantially higher incidence of dampness and/or

condensation than other groups.

-- It is not possible to draw definitive conclusions as to whether

there has been any change over the last five years, since the survey

was conducted at a different time of year, and the information collected was slightly modified in the light of experience. However, in broad terms, surveyors found similar level to those in 1991, while householders reported an improvement.

ACCESS AND ADAPTATIONS

-- Adaptations are present in 254,000 (12%) dwellings. The most

common adaptations are handrails, installation of emergency alarm

system and adapted bathroom.

-- Approximately 24,000 (1.1%) dwellings in Scotland are suitable

for use by the ambulant disabled. This figure includes 18,000 dwellings that are suitable for those using a wheelchair on a temporary basis, which in turn includes 5,000 dwellings suitable for use by full-time wheelchair users.

-- There are approximately 124,000 ambulant disabled households

compared to 24,000 ambulant disabled dwellings. There are

approximately 20,000 households where a household member uses a

wheelchair compared to 5,000 dwellings of full wheelchair standard and

18,000 dwellings of temporary wheelchair standard.

PROFILE OF HOUSEHOLDS IN SCOTLAND

-- There are approximately 2.123 million households in Scotland.

Small adult households (18%) and small families (17%) are the most

common type of household. One in twenty (5%) households are single

parents and one in seven (14%) are single pensioner households.

-- Just over half (1.117million) of household heads are in full-time

(48%) or part-time (4%) employment. 126,000 heads of household are

unemployed, whilst 555,000 are retired.

-- The median household income was£193 per week. This varied

widely with household type, ranging from£100 for single pensioners and£139 for single parents to£317 for large family households.

-- The social, demographic and economic profile of households in

1991 was very similar in all respects to that in 1996.

-- Over the same period the number of owners increased from

1.047 million (52%) to 1.200 million (57%). Theproportions of those

owning outright and those buying with a mortgage were similar in 1991

and 1996. The number of households renting from the public sector

decreased from 805,000 (40%) to 675,000 (32%); the number renting

from a housing association rose from 49,000 (2%) to 87,000 (4%); and

the number renting privately rose slightly from 131,000 (6%) to 162,000 (8%).

INCOME AND BENEFIT PAYMENTS

-- The majority of households (more than 90%) in Scotland are

better off than they were in 1991 in real terms. However, the increase

varied with the least well-off households experiencing little or no real increase whilst well-off households experienced a greater real increase in income.

-- The median household income after housing costs have been

deducted is£167. One in five households have incomes of£80 per

week or less, whilst one in five households have incomes of£326 or

more.

-- The average household in Scotland pays£750 per annum on

energy for heating, lighting, cooking and other domestic appliances.

-- Around seven in ten households spend 10% of less of their net

income on energy. Around 16% of households (337,000) pay between

10% and 15% of income on energy and a further 314,000 pay in excess

of 15% of income on energy.

HEALTH OF HOUSEHOLDS

-- Almost one-third (621,000) of all households have a household

member with a long-term illness or a disability. Amongst these

households the most common health problems stated are: arthritis or

rheumatism (8% of households contain someone with arthritis or

rheumatism); heart problems (7%); and respiratory problems (6%).

MOBILITY AND HOUSING ASPIRATIONS

-- Around 391,000 households (18%) have moved within the last 2

years and approximately 465,000 households (22%) have been in their

present home for 20 years or more.

-- Around 371,000 households (18%) are very likely to move in the

future. The groups most likely to want to move are single parents (31%), small families (26%), small adult households (24%), single adults (23%), household heads under 40 (35%) and private furnished renters (61%).

-- Around 40,000 (8%) of those households eligible to take up the

Right to Buy option intend to do so in the next 2 years.

DISREPAIR AND REPAIR COSTS

-- Overall, 22% of the stock (466,000 dwellings) are assessed as

having no items in visible disrepair. The remaining 78% (1,648,000

dwellings) have at least one item with some degree of visible disrepair.

-- Thirty-nine per cent of all dwellings have at least one element in

urgent disrepair; 18% have 2 or more elements in urgent disrepair and

3% have 5 or more elements in urgent disrepair. Urgent disrepairs are

disproportionately concentrated in the pre-1919 and private rented stock.

-- Approximately 58% (1,216,000) of dwellings had some work

undertaken by householders (including tenants) or landlords in the

twelve months previous to the socio-economic interview.

-- Double glazing and work to bathroom and kitchen fitments were

the most frequent works undertaken by owners.

-- The most frequent works undertaken by landlords were double

glazing and central heating.

-- In the year preceding to the socio-economic interview,£1,703

million was spent by owner occupiers on work to dwellings.

-- A total of 197,000 dwellings in Scotland had one or more energy

related works carried out in the previous year, including work

undertaken by tenants, and in housing association dwellings. This

represents 9% of all dwellings. During 1995-96 the total expenditure by owner occupiers on major energy related work was£465 million,

representing 32% of expenditure on all works.

-- At 1996 rates, a total of£1,290 million was spent by owner

occupiers on both major and minor work in 1991, and£1,703 million was

spent in 1996. However, the number of owners in Scotland has

increased since 1991. When expenditure on work is calculated as a

mean over all owners (both those who did work and those who did not)

the expenditure per owner in 1996 is £1,420, 15% higher than the

inflation adjusted figure in 1991 (£1,232).

NEIGHBOURHOODS AND THE LOCAL ENVIRONMENT

-- The overwhelming majority (88%) of respondents are£very£ or

£fairly satisfied£ with their neighbourhood. The level of satisfaction varies substantially among household types, from 72% of single parents to 93% of single pensioners and older smaller households.

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