Scottish think tank proposes plan for building rental homes


The approach put forward by Common Weal would make use of the Scottish National Investment Bank. It says that the model could be used as a post-pandemic stimulus scheme to reform and secure the housing and construction sector.

In the current market a three-bedroom family home would incur a monthly cost in rent, heating and maintenance of about £1,400, said Common Weal.

A house built using its proposed methodology would have a monthly rent, maintenance and heating bill of only £820, it claimed.


The paper said that Scotland’s housing sector is deeply unbalanced.  The owner-occupier sector has inflated prices far out of reach of many whilst delivering cold, draughty and poorly built homes to those who can still afford them.

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The private rental sector has become similarly inflated, it said, trapping many in a situation where they cannot simultaneously pay rent and save for the deposit to buy a house.

It said that the social rented sector has been deeply stigmatised and run down over decades to the point where it no longer fits the purpose that it was designed for – to provide an affordable and high quality home to everyone who needs one.

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Common Weal said that the economic crisis caused by the 2020 coronavirus pandemic coupled with the looming crisis of the climate emergency will mandate the mass construction of high-quality homes complying with zero-carbon and near-passive heating standards.

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