Social Housing Resilience Group discusses Affordable Housing Supply Programme and housing sector recovery workplan

The Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA) has given its weekly update on the work of the Social Housing Resilience Group (SHRG) as the group discussed the current Affordable Housing Supply Programme, Social Renewal Advisory Board and housing sector recovery workplan.

Social Housing Resilience Group discusses Affordable Housing Supply Programme and housing sector recovery workplan

An update was provided on the recently established Social Renewal Advisory Board, of which SFHA chief executive Sally Thomas is a member.

Chaired by cabinet secretaries Aileen Campbell and Shirley-Anne Sommerville, the expert advisory board has been established to drive progress towards a fairer, more equal Scotland in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. A number of different policy ‘circles’ will feed directly into the board, making recommendations for social renewal which will enable real and lasting change.

Sally Thomas chairs the housing-specific circle, alongside Jon Sparkes of Crisis and will ensure alignment between this and the work of the SHRG.

It was agreed this week that Ms Thomas would seek details of any flexibility and consistency for the remainder of the current Affordable Housing Supply Programme from housing minister Kevin Stewart on their call this week as well as discuss a potential extension on the eviction moratorium from September.

Also discussed this week:

  • The SHRG agreed on a response to the Advisory Group on Economic Recovery report. The response is now being sent to the Scottish Government for its consideration as it responds to the report.
  • letter to tenants from the housing minister was published and distributed on July 8. The letter discusses, amongst other things, RSL plans to resume repairs services and examples of support services available to help tenants e.g. financial support.
  • The Scottish Housing Regulator (SHR) will report full details from the third round of its data return at the SHRG meeting on July 21. It will also make available the full data from the first two returns.
  • SHR also advised it will be initiating a discussion with the SHRG, within the next week, regarding proposals in relation to regulatory approaches going forward and this will be discussed at the next meeting.
  • The re-fresh of the HARSAG recommendations on homelessness have been submitted to housing minister Kevin Stewart.
  • The SHRG has contributed towards a housing sector recovery workplan, drafted by the Scottish Government, which brings together the work of the three resilience groups (the others being local authority and private rented sector)
  • The SHRG has collected evidence regarding the ability of landlords to meet deadlines with regards to fire safety, electrical testing, and EESSH. A letter from the Housing Minister regarding these issues, setting out the Scottish Government’s position on flexibilities, has now been sent to all RSLs.
  • Examples of good practice, ideas, and challenges and solutions, in regards to the housing sector’s response to Covid-19, are being submitted and sought through Open Space.
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