Conference to discuss how we sustain Scotland’s rural and island communities

StrathblaneScotland’s rural and island communities face unique housing challenges – so how can we ensure that we sustain these areas for future generations?

Making sure rural and island areas receive a fair share of available funding for new affordable homes is a key theme for the Scottish Rural and Islands Housing Conference 2017, run by the Rural and Islands Housing Association Forum (RIHAF), which will debate this issue, and much more, over the course of the two-day event.

Rural and island housing associations and co-operatives face obstacles that other parts of Scotland do not, including operating within wide geographical areas that can be poorly served by public transport. One possible solution for social landlords is to take advantage of new technology to enable tenants to play a more active role in the management of their homes, and to allow staff to be to become more mobile and work from any location, resulting in increased productivity and improved services.

The conference will also explore and debate other key issues, including tackling fuel poverty in rural Scotland, housing’s place in economic strategy, and ensuring there is adequate housing supply in rural and island areas.

The conference will also see the announcement of the winner of the RIHAF Development of the Year Award, which celebrates the achievements of rural and island housing associations.

RIHAF chair Dougie Mackie said: “The conference always provides a chance for committee members and staff of Scotland’s rural and islands housing associations to learn from expert speakers and from each other.

“This year, we have an added incentive, in the form of a trophy for the most innovatory new development of the year.”

RIHAF is the rural forum and voice of the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA) which represents the interests of widely dispersed and disparate social landlords working in remote rural and island communities as well as those on the periphery of towns.

The Scottish Rural and Islands Housing Conference takes place on October 26 and 27 at Macdonald Marine Hotel, North Berwick.

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