Scottish Housing Day receives cross party support

All the main parties in the Scottish Parliament are backing this year’s annual Scottish Housing Day, which is taking place today.

Among the events taking place across the country is a hustings at the Parliament focusing on young people’s housing issues. Panellists will include Councillor Peter Barratt from the Scottish Liberal Democrats, Pauline McNeill MSP from Scottish Labour, Graham Simpson MSP from the Scottish Conservatives, minister for local government, housing and planning Kevin Stewart MSP, and Andy Wightman MSP from the Scottish Green Party. The event will also be attended by representatives from the Scottish Youth Parliament as part of Scottish Housing Day’s link to the Year of Young People.

The panel will hear directly from young people about their housing needs and aspirations, as well as taking questions from housing professionals around each party’s main housing priorities.

Other activities on the day include:

  • Soapbox Debates organised by the Wheatley Group.
  • Rural Stirling Housing Association is holding its AGM.
  • Simply Let has organised a drop-in day for tenants to raise any issues.
  • The Highland Council and Lochaber Housing Association will hold a joint event with the Department for Work and Pensions to raise awareness of Housing Options within Lochaber.
  • East Lothian Council is hosting drop-in events in Haddington and Musselburgh offering a range of information about their housing services.
  • Angus Council’s housing team will be holding a special pop-up event in Forfar to promote tenant participation and gather views on rent setting.
  • Commenting on the day, CIH Scotland’s national director, Callum Chomczuk, said: “When it comes to housing, young people in particular often face a number of challenges, including difficulty getting on the property ladder, the high cost of renting, and the impact of changes to welfare reform such as the move to Universal Credit and the benefit cap.

    “This hustings, and other events across the country, will provide a platform for young people and others to raise their housing concerns and aspirations and to highlight the need to ensure that we are building more of the right homes in the right places, across all tenures – for ownership, shared ownership, private rent, mid market and social rent.”

    Kevin Stewart MSP said: “As a government we want everyone to have a place to call home - this is key to building and sustaining a fairer and more prosperous Scotland. We want to deliver more of the right homes in the right places to meet the housing needs and aspirations of the people of Scotland, young and old.

    “Having a safe, warm, high quality home can have a huge impact on the shape people’s lives will take. This is just one of the many reasons why we are investing more than £3 billion over the course of this Parliament to deliver 50,000 affordable homes, 35,000 of which will be for social rent - the single biggest investment in affordable housing since devolution.

    “We are making £70 million available this year for our Open Market Shared Equity scheme to help up to 1,700 first-time buyers on low to moderate incomes own their own home. We also ended the right to buy in Scotland – protecting existing social rented homes and preventing the sale of up to 15,500 houses over a 10-year period.”

    Scottish Housing Day is organised by CIH Scotland, the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA), Homes for Scotland, Shelter Scotland, the Association of Local Authority Chief Housing Officers (ALACHO), the Scottish Association of Landlords (SAL), the Tenant Participatory Advisory Service Scotland (TPAS), Regional Network of Registered Tenants Organisations and the Scottish Government.

    Its purpose is to raise public awareness of the latest developments in housing and to give people the resources that they need to make informed decisions about their housing options.

    The day will end with a special evening reception in the Scottish Parliament, kindly sponsored by Graham Simpson MSP and featuring a keynote speech from minister for local government, housing and planning Kevin Stewart MSP.

    You can keep track about Scottish Housing Day here, or follow developments on Twitter @scothousingday by using the hashtag #ScottishHousingDay.

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