Meeting the Scottish Housing Quality Standard (SHQS)
Scottish Executive proposals for improving the quality of life for people in Scotland have included establishing a cross tenure Scottish Housing Quality Standard (SHQS). This standard defines what constitutes good quality housing and the Executive has set a target date of 2015 by which time all Council housing and Registered Social landlords are expected to have met the SHQS. The standard is based on a number of broad quality criteria. To meet the SHQS a dwelling must be:
- Compliant with the Tolerable Standard
- Free from serious disrepair
- Energy efficient
- Provided with modern facilities and services, and
- Healthy, safe and secure
Meeting the SHQS by the required date of 2015 is a significant financial challenge. The introduction of the SHQS post-dates the stock transfer, and like all other housing transfers that pre-dated the SHQS, our original Business Plan and funding arrangements did not make provision for the additional works that are now required.
The condition of our housing stock
Our Business Plan has been re-configured to provide the additional financial capacity needed to meet the SHQS requirements. This has included reviews of rent levels and the investment programme, and the negotiation of revised funding facilities noted above.
Going forward, the priority is to monitor and control costs, taking account of tender prices, ongoing stock condition survey updates, and the intelligence provided by our new asset management software system, Keystone. This will provide the investment planning to allow the most cost effective achievement of the SHQS, and then its ongoing maintenance. Keystone will also enhance our ability to provide tenants with detailed and accurate information on forthcoming work, and to ensure proper maintenance and servicing of equipment and management of warranty claims against contractors.
The results of our recent house condition surveys (2006 to 2010) have been assessed alongside the Business Plan.
The assessment identifies higher expenditure requirements throughout the long-term business planning period but particularly in the period 2008-2013 when the additional spend on central heating and other energy efficiency measures is concentrated. Other key points are:
substantial investment is required to replace inefficient heating systems (mainly storage heater based systems) which are a common feature of the housing stock (approximately £25 million up to the end of 2013);
Bathroom and Kitchens continue to be a priority with £23 million in the program up to the end of 2013;
expenditure is required to comply with minimum requirements for roof insulation (up to £4 million in 2008-2013);
some expenditure on external improvement is required to meet our obligations to tenants that include new roofs/window replacement program/external render DP etc.;
installation and subsequent replacement of mains powered detectors for smoke and carbon monoxide; and
there are also a number of common close improvements being carried out with owners in multiple tenure.
Investment programme and costs
DGHP is committed to meeting the outstanding transfer investment promises by 2013 and the SHQS by 2015. The investment plan for 2011 and beyond projects the following investment, which will allow DGHP to achieve the SHQS by the 2015 deadline. Thereafter, we will maintain our properties at that standard based on the life cycle costings identified in the stock condition survey. We have not yet allowed for any further enhancement of standards.