This month an exciting new tool was launched by Shelter Scotland and HACT to help understand the positive impact of new social homes.

The project is a collaboration between HACT and Shelter Scotland and has run with support from an expert advisory group and the invaluable input of 14 registered social landlords so far who have been capturing the experiences of their new tenants and the changes that their new or refurbished social home has had on their lives.

The first of its kind, the project uses UK Social Value Bank calculations to understand and quantify the difference as a value made to an individual’s wellbeing and what savings are made for the state when a tenant moves into their new social home. Though in its early stages, the project has already identified positive social change on lots of areas of tenant lives – in particular, new tenancies have resulted in tenants feeling more part of a community, no longer being worried about crime, pollution and belonging to a ‘good neighbourhood’. Crucially, we now have a figure for the social value generated for respondents who noted a positive change from their move – an average of £11,371 of social value or £543.96 of exchequer savings made to the state per person. In total, £614,041 of social value was created based on UK Social Value Bank calculations from the new social lets captured in the project.

We are in a growing housing emergency. More and more households are stuck in temporary accommodation and spending longer periods there. The Scottish Housing Regulator has said homeless services are on the brink of systemic failure and that new social housing is the route out, and the latest Accounts Commission report outlined that current social housing supply is insufficient to meet demand. The Task and Finish Group on Temporary Accommodation also emphasised the importance of social housing.

We know that good quality, affordable social housing makes such a difference to people’s lives and wellbeing – and this research helps both evidence that as well as justify the investment needed in its supply across Scotland.
And in this current climate, anything which helps to make the case for more social homes and their value to all parts of life is crucial.

The project is now in its second year and would warmly welcome input from more social landlords who might want to come on board and help evidence the vital role social housing plays.


Shelter Scotland (May 2023), Shelter Scotland Briefing on Understanding the Social Value of Social Housing
HACT (May 2023), The Social Value of Social Housing