Scottish Government: Ageing Economics, (At) Home

In collaboration with: Scottish Government, Designers: Ed White, Tim Cairns, Chin Hu
Services: Design Research, Service Design Methodologies, Conceptualisation

(At) Home is a Housing Service which is a blend of home ownership and renting, but unlike current shared ownership models you do not buy a share of a particular property.

The final concept is a Housing Service which will build 25,000 houses in the major Scottish cities. It combines aspects of Housing Associations and private ownership, and is targeted at people who would like to buy a property but can't afford to do so. It will rent houses to people similarly to a Housing Association, but the Unique Selling Point of the scheme will be that you buy shared in the national scheme as part of your monthly payment. This is like shared equity, but you will own a small share of the whole 25,000 houses, not the home you live in. It will be set up by the Scottish Government after independence, initially owned by the state but as people live in the homes and invest in the scheme, they will gradually own a larger share of the service.

This sounds simple enough but the benefits that accrue from this are distinctive. You can start buying property without having a large deposit. You can move house within the scheme without buying and selling (and incurring estate agents and stamp duty costs). You can invest at a level you can afford. You can join the scheme in a flat-share.People who have not yet reached a level of career stability, and who might not expect to live long term in their current location, can still invest in housing.

This service helps younger people buy property and accumulate wealth in the housing market. It redirects benefits of housing wealth back to the people who live in a house instead of buy to let landlords. Housing forms a large part of people's financial security, and the current "Generation Rent" are more likely to retire in poverty without housing assets. This service addresses that.