SFHA to begin housing hustings series in Gordon

SFHAThe Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA) is organising four housing hustings debates during the general election campaign to allow people to put their questions to candidates in their area.

The hustings will be held throughout April in Gordon, Glasgow, Edinburgh South and Dundee West and will be co-hosted by local housing associations and the Glasgow and West of Scotland Forum of Housing Associations (GWSF).

The first hustings will be held in Gordon on Tuesday 7 April, 6:30pm at Inverurie Town Hall and will be co-hosted by the SFHA and Aberdeenshire Housing Partnership.

The theme of the hustings will be Housing Perspectives on Additional Powers for Scotland and the debate will be chaired by acclaimed broadcaster and journalist Frank Gilfeather. The five main parties in Scotland have been invited to put forward their candidates, to answer questions on the theme and on other issues that are key to housing in Gordon.

Mary Taylor, chief executive of the SFHA, said: “The devolution of further powers to Scotland, will have a significant the impact on the housing system, on landlords and tenants, on people who rely on welfare, and on businesses and organisations that provide services. The main parties have committed to passing a bill on new powers for Scotland, after the election, but they are making different promises about the detail of how they will deliver these powers. This hustings will provide an important opportunity to question the candidates on the key areas of concern for the housing sector – welfare reform, energy and fuel poverty, fiscal powers and intergovernmental working – and on issues specific to the local area of each event.”

Colin Hawkins, chief executive, Aberdeenshire Housing Partnership, said: “Housing is a key issue in Aberdeenshire, everyone should have a decent, affordable, warm home in a thriving, safe community. To achieve this we need any new powers to contribute to a well functioning housing system that can make a significant and effective contribution to meeting housing needs and tackling poverty, inequality and deprivation across Scotland.

“More locally, incredibly, there are over 10,000 applicants on the Councils’ Waiting List and, at a time when new affordable housing in provision has hit a 5 year low we’ve a massive job on our hands – as many citizens throughout Aberdeenshire will know only too well.

“I encourage anyone with an interest in housing issues to join us for the hustings.”

The hustings is free to attend but places must be reserved in advance. Contact Anna Marriott to reserve a place amarriott@sfha.co.uk.

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