The Living Home Standard defines what the public believes an acceptable home should provide, something that we should all be able to expect from our home in order to secure our wellbeing and provide a foundation from which we can build and live our lives.
Background to the Living Home Standard
The Standard was the result of 9 months of research conducted in 2016 by Ipsos MORI on behalf of Shelter and British Gas. It involved a series of discussion groups, workshops and quantitative surveys as well as an online community.
The Standard is made up of 39 attributes, which together define a standard the public think all homes should meet, irrespective of tenure, size or age. These attributes span five dimensions: affordability; decent conditions; space; stability and neighbourhood. In order to meet the Living Home Standard, a home must meet all criteria within each dimension which were deemed essential by the public, and a certain number of criteria considered ‘tradable’.
This research was the first of its kind to involve the public in the development of a measurement of acceptable housing quality, in an approach inspired by the Minimum Income Standard.
This year, research was conducted by Ipsos MORI on behalf of Shelter Scotland, measuring the proportion of people living in homes that pass and fail the Living Home Standard in Scotland.
Shelter Scotland – topline findings
One in three people in Scotland (34%) live in homes that do not meet the Living Home Standard. Among the groups most likely to fall short of the Standard are families with children (43%) and young people aged 25-34 (48%).
Renters are also more likely than owners to fall short of the Standard: this is the case for over half of renters in local authority housing (54%) and in the private rented sector (54%), along with nearly three in five of those renting from a Housing Association (59%). Meanwhile, one in eight people in Scotland who own their property outright do not meet the Standard (12%), rising to twenty-nine per cent for those who own with a mortgage. The dimensions for affordability and decent conditions saw the largest proportions fall short of the Standard. Eighteen per cent of the Scottish public live in homes which do not meet the criteria to pass the affordability dimension. Nearly one in five people in Scotland making rent or mortgage payments say they cannot meet these payments while also saving money for unexpected costs (17%). Fifteen per cent say they are worried their rent or mortgage payments may rise and become difficult to pay.
Eighteen per cent of the Scottish public also live in homes that do not meet the criteria for decent conditions. One in eight people live in homes with mould or damp problems (12%), and one in ten experience noise which regularly disrupts their sleep or daily activities (10%).
The ‘neighbourhood’ dimension fared best, with only three per cent of the Scottish public living in homes that do not meet criteria relating to their neighbourhood and the social networks, services and security it affords. Six per cent of people in Scotland do not meet the criteria for the stability dimension, and eight per cent fall short of the Standard for criteria relating to space.
Below you can download the data tabulations and the 39 attributes with full details of the dimensions and their constituent attributes.
Ipsos MORI interviewed 1,140 Scottish adults aged 16+ face-to-face, between 12th January and 8th March 2018. Data are weighted to the known population profile.
Analysis was conducted to calculate the proportion of the public living in homes that meet the Living Home Standard. Within each of the five dimensions some attributes are classed as essentials – conditions that every home must pass in order to meet the Living Home Standard. Other attributes were classed as ‘tradeables’, features many people believed were important, but they were not universally applicable to or equally desired by everyone. A home needs to meet all essential attributes across the five dimensions in order for it to achieve the Living Home Standard. A home must also meet a certain number of the tradable conditions in each dimension of the Standard, but not all, in order for it to achieve the Living Home Standard overall.
Each of the 39 attributes included in the Standard is framed as a statement, with a ‘true’ or ‘false’ response.