Local authority believes as many as two in three rented households lack a broadband connection
Glasgow City Council has developed a digital housing strategy with the ultimate aim of ensuring the city’s entire population has access to the internet.
Working alongside landlords, the local authority found that 65% of households living in the city’s social rented sector are digitally excluded because they do not currently have a broadband connection. The main reasons for that include affordability, lack of skills and a reluctance to transact online.
Kenny McLean, convener of the council’s neighbourhoods, housing and public realm committee, said that between now and 2028 the council would work with housing and other partners to help deliver more affordable broadband which would in turn improve housing services because they could be delivered digitally.
The council also intends to create a web-based common housing register with the aim of improving data collection as well as access to affordable housing.
“In an increasingly digital age, technology has transformed the way we live and how services are delivered,” he said. “The impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic have highlighted the need to reduce digital exclusion across Glasgow, support opportunities for the housing sector to improve how services are delivered and use technology and data held to improve the quality of our citizen’s lives and housing standards.”
McLean added: “The strategy sets out to reduce digital exclusion through the enhancement of digital infrastructure, addressing issues relating to affordability of accessing broadband and devices, and ensuring our citizens have the appropriate skills and confidence to use the internet. There is potential to improve the systems used by the housing sector and digital services offered. Enhancing digital services can improve how tenants of registered social landlords choose to access services.
“Finally, the strategy outlines how technology can improve the quality of housing and improve the health and wellbeing of our households.”