Blogs



Martin Gavin: ‘It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…’

The combined data on the Housing First Scotland Pathfinder programme is now available covering both April and May, when housing allocations all but stopped. Significant additional pressure across the public and charity sectors, including organisations delivering support to tenants, has been on a scale unseen previously. Homeless Network Scotland manages the Pathfinder and produces the normally monthly Tracker report. Its head of external relations, Martin Gavin, looks at what this latest one tells us.

Published 19 June 2020

The Margaret Taylor Interview: North Lanarkshire rises to housing challenges

As Scotland’s largest local authority landlord, North Lanarkshire Council has responsibility for 36,500 households, almost a third of which were forced to shield the moment the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Many of the affected tenants already had support systems in place, but as 6,500 did not the council had to step in to ensure its residents have not only remained safe and well during lockdown, but have had access to food and medicines too. For Stephen Llewellyn, head of housing solutions at the local authority, it has been a mammoth task to oversee.

Published 18 June 2020

Councillor Kate Campbell: We’ve worked together to put our most vulnerable first during this crisis – but the biggest challenges are still to come

City of Edinburgh Council’s housing, homelessness and fair work convener, Councillor Kate Campbell, outlines the phenomenal response from organisations working to prevent homeless during the pandemic.

Published 18 June 2020

Kieran Tait: A week in the life of an office-based corporate services assistant

Kieran Tait is one of two staff members at Hillhead Housing Association working in the office whilst it remains closed. Here he shares how he has worked to keep vital systems going, help tenants with rents & repairs, and to support the rest of the staff who are all working from home.

Published 15 June 2020

Blog: Scotland needs 53,000 affordable homes

After last weeks’ launch of Affordable Housing Need in Scotland Post-2021, Callum Chomczuk, Sally Thomas and Alison Watson press the case for 53,000 new affordable homes.

Published 15 June 2020

Alison Watson: Coronavirus crisis is no time for compromises

Scotland has some of the most progressive housing legislation in the world, but structural, political and financial failures have meant we've yet to change the reality for most homeless people, says Shelter Scotland director Alison Watson.

Published 12 June 2020

Michelle Major: Telling it like it is to the housing minister

This week, Kevin Stewart MSP, Scotland’s housing minister, along with senior Scottish Government officials, had the opportunity to meet via video link four members of All in For Change, people with their own lived experience of homelessness. Homeless Network Scotland’s change lead Michelle Major co-ordinates the All In for Change meetings and facilitated this week’s video chat.

Published 11 June 2020

Shelter Scotland: Affordable housing – what is the need?

In the wake of new research launched in partnership with the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA) and CIH Scotland which calls for 53,000 affordable homes to be built over the next five years, Shelter Scotland explains why these homes are desperately needed and building them will help kick-start Scotland's economy too.

Published 11 June 2020

Blog: Housing and modern methods of construction post COVID-19

Now is the time to consider the role of Modern Methods of Construction in the future of the construction sector, says partner Ian Atkinson and solicitor Ryan Lavers at law firm Womble Bond Dickinson.

Published 10 June 2020

Craig Whelton: Scotland and the ‘tilted balance’ in planning decisions

On June 3, the Court of Session handed down a landmark judgment in the case of Gladman Developments Limited v Scottish Ministers in which it upheld the use of the ‘tilted balance’ in cases where there is a shortfall in the housing land supply. Burges Salmon’s Scottish planning and compulsory purchase team, led by partner Craig Whelton with support from associate Lynsey Reid, acted for Gladman.

Published 9 June 2020

Jon Sparkes: Let’s make this the beginning of the end of homelessness in Scotland

As the Scottish Government reconvenes its Homelessness & Rough Sleeping Action Group (HARSAG), its chair Jon Sparkes provides a summary of the first meeting.

Published 8 June 2020

Professor David Clapham: Houses, homes and nature

The links between houses, homes and the natural and physical world are far-reaching. In this blog, Professor David Clapham explains that the COVID-19 crisis has underlined our limited understanding of these links.

Published 5 June 2020

Ashley Campbell: How can we keep allocating homes safely during the coronavirus pandemic?

Ashley Campbell, policy and practice manager at the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH), discusses how social landlords can allocate homes safely during the current coronavirus pandemic.

Published 4 June 2020

Dr Jenny Preece: Exploring the realities of living in a small home

Dr Jenny Preece introduces a new CaCHE research project which will consider why homes are so small in the UK and explore experiences of those who live in these kinds of properties.

Published 4 June 2020

Kelly Fraser: New model complaints handling procedure from the SPSO – what RSLs need to know

Kelly Fraser, senior associate at Harper MacLeod, highlight some of the key amendments to the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman's model complaints handling procedures that registered social landlords (RSLs) should be aware of.

Published 4 June 2020