New book recalls the ‘forgotten problem’ of rural housing

Raymond Young
Raymond Young

A new book has been launched which explores how rural housing is a ‘forgotten problem’ in Scotland’s housing history and recounts how housing associations responded to the issue.

Affordable Homes in Rural Scotland: the Role of Housing Associations highlights the work of hundreds of local volunteers who decided to play their part in shaping government housing policy, sustaining their community, providing care and creating houses as well as jobs.

Author Raymond Young said: “Over the last 40 years, housing associations have become major providers of housing and care across Scotland. Often seen as urban organisations, housing associations have played an equally important part in helping to sustain rural communities and have developed their own way of responding to the various challenges that are experienced in different parts of the country – from Shetland to the Borders and the South West.

“From small beginnings, some associations are now the key housing provider in their part of the countryside. And for many, providing homes is only the start – there are other social, economic and environmental opportunities which improve the quality of life in our rural communities.

“These local leaders in these communities have developed new rural institutions that provide good homes in places where a caravan or a mattress on a friend’s floor might have been the only option if you wanted to stay and work in towns and villages where housing costs can be affected by second homes and wealthy incomers.”

Bruce Forbes, director of Angus Housing Association and sponsor of the book launch said: “As a housing provider in both large urban areas and small rural communities, Angus Housing Association felt it was extremely important to highlight how much more difficult it can be to develop new housing to rent in Rural Scotland. This book tells the story of how these hurdles have been overcome as well as recording the lessons we can learn from to continue to meet the housing needs of our rural communities – the essential ingredient to their future stability.”

Alastair Cameron, convenor of Rural Housing Scotland and host of the book reception said: “We are delighted to host the book reception and congratulate Raymond Young on his new book.”

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