LAR Housing Trust will deliver positive impact, finds Holyrood report
An evaluation report into a new investment vehicle that will provide up to 1,000 affordable homes for rent across Scotland has found no negative impacts identified with the scheme.
Launched in October 2015, the Local Affordable Rented Housing Trust (LAR) is a Scottish charity set up to provide long term mid-market rented (MMR) housing across Scotland.
The LAR is funded by a £55 million loan from the Scottish Government, with matching private investment expected to lift the overall funding package to more than £100m.
An Equality Impact Assessment (EQIA) into the initiative has shown that LAR will have a positive impact across a number of groups through the provision of long-term affordable housing and will not negatively impact on any particular equalities group. In doing so, tenants will have a safe, well maintained house which they can call home and support the development of strong local communities.
The EQIA gathered a range of data and information to inform the analysis of the likely impact of LAR, in particular:-
- Review of evidence gathered from tenancy return forms for those currently accessing MMR homes through the Affordable Housing Supply Programme (includes both grant-funded MMR projects and the National Housing Trust).
- Family Resources Survey (FRS) data on the distribution of income by household type and information on median private rental sector (PRS) rents in Scotland to estimate the proportion of households who could potentially benefit from LAR.
No negative impacts were identified by the Equality Impact Assessment, however as current MMR tenancies appear to favour a younger profile of tenants and the majority of households being less than three persons, the mix of homes in the LAR portfolio will need to be monitored to ensure it can meet demand appropriately and that it is not limiting housing options from protected groups.
Overall, the Scottish Government expects that LAR will have a positive impact across a number of groups through the provision of long-term affordable housing by acquiring suitable housing stock and allocating tenancies to a Target Tenant Group which shall comprise of individuals or households who would be in financial hardship if they were to rent in the private sector.
There will be continuing housing obligations on LAR to meet and promote equalities duties and LAR will report regularly to the Scottish Government to ensure this is achieved.