Housing minister makes visit to Rural Stirling Housing Association
Minister for housing Paul McLennan has learned first hand about the important work of Rural Stirling Housing Association (RSHA) after he paid a welcome visit for a roundtable discussion on the work of the Association and the ever-present challenges facing a rural housing provider.
The meeting held in Doune touched on – among other things - the challenge all housing providers with a development programme are facing with “construction inflation” contributing to rising costs.
Mark Griffiths, chairperson of RSHA, said: “We were very pleased indeed to host a visit by the Minister. It allowed us and our partners to engage directly with the Scottish Government which shares our vision of delivering more affordable housing.
“Our round table discussion focussed on a range of issues primarily addressing housing needs in rural Stirlingshire which remains at an exceptionally high level.
“We hope Paul McLennan took away from our discussion a greater understanding of the pressing issues affecting our work and our commitment to partnership working involving Stirling Council, the Scottish Government and others.”
RSHA, which has homes across Stirlingshire, has had an extensive development programme with recent and ongoing developments in Tyndrum, Kippen, Killearn, Strathblane and Balmaha.
RSHA chief executive Donna Birrell added: “We appreciate the visit of Paul McLennan accompanied by officials from the Scottish Government. It was an invaluable opportunity for us to set out what we are doing as a housing association.
“There is a strong demand for housing across the communities we serve and we are endeavouring to address this as best we can.
“Affordable housing remains a critical component of sustaining communities – especially rural ones - with a particularly pressing demand for the provision of one and two bedroom apartments.
“We value our working partnership with Stirling Council, Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park and the Scottish Government and look forward to continuing to work together.”
Evelyn Tweed, MSP for Stirling, said: “Accessible, affordable housing is a vital building block for sustainable communities. Rural areas face specific challenges when it comes to housing and it’s important that consideration of rural needs are embedded into policy and legislation.
“I’m pleased that the Minister was able to visit my constituency and hear first hand about the great work that the Rural Stirling Housing Association and East Loch Lomond Community Trust are doing, and about the challenging context they work in. I hope that this productive conversation will be able to inform the government’s housing strategy.”
Mr McLennan said: “We recognise good quality affordable housing is essential to help build sustainable communities in rural areas. Rural Stirling Housing Association are looking to increase the availability of affordable housing to support their local communities, and we will continue to work together to help deliver more affordable homes.
“We are committed to delivering 110,000 affordable homes by 2032, of which 10% will be in rural and island communities and 70% will be for social rent.”