MSP and West Whitlawburn director call on government to do more for housing co-operatives

James Kelly MSP and Paul Farrell, director of West Whitlawburn Housing Co-operative (WWHC), met with the cabinet secretary for communities and local government Aileen Campbell last week to discuss support for and promotion of the co-operative model of housing.

James Kelly MSP, Paul Farrell and Johann Lamont

The meeting follows a debate in the parliament where Mr Kelly, who chairs the Cross Party Group (CPG) on co-operatives, highlighted the success of WWHC and used it as an exemplar of what the co-operative model can achieve.

The meeting also involved Johann Lamont MSP who held the debate as well as officials from the Scottish Government, Co-ops UK and the Scottish Co-operative Party.

As part of the meeting, Mr Kelly and Mr Farrell called on the government to take real action to promote the co-operative model, giving tenants full control over their homes.

James Kelly MSP said: “I am grateful to the cabinet secretary for meeting with us to discuss this vital issue. WWHC in Cambuslang shows us just how much good a housing co-operative can do for a local area having completely transformed the community.

“In the debate before the summer, it was promising that the government seem supportive of the co-operative housing model, but it must now take action to promote co-operatives instead of just acknowledging them.”

Paul Farrell added: “WWHC was delighted to be invited by the CPG on Co-operatives to meet with the Cabinet Secretary to express our concerns about the apparent lack of support and promotion of the Housing Co-operative model.

“We believe more tenants should be given the option of looking at the possibility of controlling their own housing. The model, as proven by WWHC and other Co-operatives, is certainly one which has a demonstrable track record of success.”

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