Information and statistics on the city of Glasgow – Courtesy of Glasgow Housing Action (2011)

Approximately 4,000 new houses for social rent were built in the city between 2003 and 2008. Over the same period, 9,500 houses were demolished and about 5,000 sold to sitting tenants. In 2010-2011, according to Shelter Scotland, there were only 109,914 houses in the social rented sector in Glasgow.
This page aims to provide key statistical information on housing in Glasgow and Scotland. The selected data below exposes some of the housing problems written about on the blog. Beneath these bullet points are a selection of links that contain useful background information relating to the housing situation in Glasgow and Scotland.
Overall, the statistics show a massive reduction in public or social housing.
Between 1991 and 2008, private sector stock in the City grew by almost 60% from 114, 101 to 181,655 (approximately 67,500 homes), while the social rented sector fell from 173, 526 to 113,828 (a reduction of approximately 60,000 social rented homes). In this period, the proportion of private sector stock has increased from 40% to over 61%. The private rented sector has doubled in size since 1991, and now accounts for 11% of the City’s housing stock (City Plan 2)
It is estimated that, by 2018, the proportion of stock in the private sector could be approaching 70%. Private sector stock is expected to grow by a further 53,000 houses by 2018. In the same period, the social rented sector is expected to decline further by about 14,000 houses (City Plan 2).
These figures reveal a massive tenure switch from public to private in Glasgow since 1991.

Tenure Change in Glasgow, 1991-200819911991 (%)20082008 (%)
Owner Occupied99,23534%147,02150%
Private Rented14,8665%34,63412%
Other Social Rented35,71912%44,09115%

Housing Costs, Glasgow

There has been a significant increase in rent charged by Registered Social Landlords (RSL) in Glasgow since 2002. Average weekly RSL Rent Glasgow from 2005-7 was £51.60. In 2010-11 it had steadily increased to £60.78, meaning a 4 weekly rent had grown from £206.40 to £243.12, an 18% increase.

Homeless Applications

In 2010-11, 55,227 households made homeless applications to their local council in Scotland. 41,553 households were accepted by their local authority as homeless or potentially homeless, and 36,440 of those households, were assessed as in priority need. (Source: Shelter Scotland)

Poor Housing Conditions

169,000 properties in Glasgow City currently fail the Scottish Housing Quality Standard (Shelter Scotland).
298,000 homes in Scotland are affected by dampness or condensation.
At least 105,000 families with children, 36,000 older households of two people and 24,000 single pensioners are living in houses affected by dampness or condensation.
An energy standard of seven out of 10 has been required for new homes for more than a decade, but 44 per cent of homes in Scotland fail this standard.

Public Housing Reductions in Scotland

The graph above highlights the huge reduction in local authority housing in Scotland over the last 30 years. The introduction of the right to buy for public authority tenants in 1979 coupled with the decline of public authority new builds has resulted in local authority housing in Scotland decreasing from close to 50% to approximately 20%.
The number of council houses in Scotland has fallen by around 48% from September 1997 to September 2011. A total of 300,000 council houses have been lost in the last 15 years (150,000 sales to sitting tenants, 100,000 to stock transfer, 50,000 demolished).
(Source: Scottish Government Report on Local Authority Housing)
This massive reduction has not been replaced by housing associations stock and increasingly people are being forced into the private sector.
In 1993, 755,000 dwellings in Scotland were rented from local authorities, accounting for 34.4% of the national housing stock.
In March 2010 this stock had been reduced to 323,000, just 13% of the total housing stock. Housing associations have increased their stock from 3.1% in 1993 to 11% in 2010.
However, this increase does not fill the void left by the decrease in public housing, as between 1993 and 2010, 432,000 local authority housing was lost. Within that same time 205,000 housing association dwellings have been added. This leaves a deficit of 227,000 socially rented dwellings in Scotland.

New Housing in Scotland

The trend towards increasing privatisation is further evident in the graph above that highlights the completion of new housing in Scotland. Before the 1980s private and public sectors matched each other’s new housing contributions with mass public housing built between the 50s and 70s on the back of successful post war campaigning. In the last thirty years though, public/social sector new builds have decreased dramatically, and the private sector now represents over 80% of all completions.


City Plan 2 here
Scottish Government Statistics – Housing and Regeneration here
Scottish Government Housing Statistics here
Shelter Scotland Housing Statistics here
UK Housing Review (eds Hal Pawson and Steve Wilcox) here

Additional Resources

Campbell, Graham. ‘GARA [Glasgow Anti-Racist Alliance] Response to “Delivering a Lasting Legacy for Scotland” – The Scottish Government Consultation on the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games’, 2008. GC’s_Gara_Commonwealth_Games_report_May_2008_Final_2
Durie, Nick. ‘Maryhill – The Future of a Working-Class Community in North-West Glasgow’. Available at:
Gray, Neil. ‘The Clyde Gateway: A New Urban Frontier?’, Variant magazine, 2008.
Gray, Neil. ‘CG 2014: Formulary for a Skewed Urbanism’, Mute magazine, 2009.
Gray, Neil. ‘The Tyranny of Rent’, Variant magazine, 2010.

Gray, Neil and Mooney, Gerry. ‘Glasgow’s New Urban Frontier: “Civilising” the Population of ‘Glasgow East’, City Magazine, 2011. CityGlasgowEastFeb2011[1]

Gray, Neil, ‘Reproduction, Reproduction, Reproduction: Beyond the Factory Desert’, Shift magazine, Issue 14, January-May 2012.

Gray, Neil and French, Leigh, ‘The Empire in Miniature’, Scottish Left Review,

McCartney et al, ‘The health and socio-economic impacts of major multi-sports events: a systematic review’, BMJ 2010;340:c2369

Mooney, Gerry. ‘The “Broken Society” Election: Class Hatred and the Politics of Poverty and Place in Glasgow East’. SPSGlasgowEast2009[1]

Porter, Libby. ‘Planning Displacement: The Real Legacy of Major Sporting Events’, Planning Theory and Practice, 2009. Planning_and_displacement_Interface_PTP_10.3

Cumbers, Andy; Helms, Gesa; Keenan, Marilyn. ‘Beyond Aspiration: Young People and decent work in the de-industrialised city’ (Discussion paper), 2009.
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