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Scottish Private Rented Sector Doubles in Two Decades

Tuesday, 6th May, 2014

The proportion  of Scottish households now privately renting has risen from 7% in 1991 to 14% today, according to research by the Joseph Rowantree Foundation.

But it claims this demographic change has led to increased poverty because on average PRS rents are 86% higher than social housing rents.

Households in Scotland spend a smaller share of their income on housing costs than in England; historically, social housing rents are nearly 25% lower in Scotland than in England while house prices are around 20% lower. 

But Joseph Rowantree says this trend is in danger of being reversed as more low-income families are living in the PRS.

The foundation's report claims that Scotland's historically large share of social housing has fallen by 17 percentage points in the last 20 years - from 830,000 in 1991 to 575,000 on 2011, representing 24% of households. Meanwhile the 11% of households in the private rented sector add up to 325,000.

The number of households in poverty in PRS has doubled in the last decade to 120,000 while the number in social housing almost halved to 190,000. The foundation claims that a quarter of poor households live in the PRS, up from one in ten a decade ago.


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