Katrina Reid: Building Foundations for Allocating Healthy Homes

Katrina Reid, health improvement manager, health and housing at NHS Health Scotland, provides a summary of the Building Foundations for Allocating Healthy Homes seminar held in Glasgow in November.

Katrina Reid: Building Foundations for Allocating Healthy Homes

A half-day seminar hosted by NHS Health Scotland and chaired by The Scottish Federation of Housing Association’s policy lead, Zhan McIntyre, explored opportunities to promote positive health outcomes for vulnerable groups. Speakers and delegates shared examples of how identifying local need has informed housing allocations policies.

Attendees working in housing, health and social care came together in Glasgow for Building Foundations for Allocating Healthy Homes in November 2019. Through presentations and discussion, they learnt about and shared good practice of allocation policies that enable equitable access to sustainable social housing tenancies.

The seminar began with Lucy Robertson, managing director of housing consultancy firm Craigforth, presenting on the Housing Scotland Act 2014 allocations guidance, and highlighting opportunities for social landlords to build flexibility in to their allocations policies.

This was followed by a presentation from the Wheatley Group’s, Catherine Wilkie. Ms Wilkie described Wheatley Group’s Choice Based Letting Model, where available properties are advertised and people make bids for them. The approach can be challenging for vulnerable people to use and she described design features of their model which support homeless people and other groups with applying for housing.

Denise Murdock and Jackie Boyd of Housing Options for Older People then explained how their organisation takes a person-centred approach to respond to the housing needs of older people in Glasgow. To do this they outlined the partnerships and protocols enabling them to navigate allocation policies.

Professor Isobel Anderson of Stirling University then presented research entitled Match Me – what works for adapted social housing lettings. She highlighted barriers disabled people faced accessing appropriate social housing, presented good practice and highlighted recommendations for improvement.

Finally, before delegates broke up in to groups to discuss the presentations, Cameron Mitchell, strategy and support Manager from South Lanarkshire Council, presented on their allocations policy. Mr Mitchell described how the Council works in partnership with housing associations to meet the needs of homeless households, and how the allocation process is tailored to meet peoples varying needs and circumstances.

Partners who attended on the day will use what they learned to inform their approaches to housing allocations policies.

To find out more about these examples please visit NHS Health Scotland’s website where you can download the presentations here.

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