Associate Feature: Housing changes lives, so let's work together to deliver
Homes save lives. Living somewhere safe, warm and affordable is the foundation of a good life.
Over the last 18 months, homes became even more essential: they were the places where many of us lived, worked and studied.
And as we now, hopefully, emerge from the shadow of Covid, homes will be central to our recovery.
For many people, the health, financial and social effects of the crisis have combined to leave them in real need.
Affordable housing can help tackle these issues. Lower social sector rents reduce poverty, and building safe, warm, energy efficient homes improves people’s health and wellbeing, creates jobs and stimulates the economy.
So it’s vital that we put investment in social housing at the heart of the next parliamentary term.
SFHA represents housing associations and co-operatives across Scotland. Throughout the pandemic, our members embraced new ways of working, helped tenants get online or access health services, and delivered high-quality community-based models of housing with care to keep people safe and well.
But housing associations can do even more, with the right legislative and regulatory environment.
As we look towards the Programme for Government, we expect housing to be a key element of the government’s plans.
With a new Affordable Housing Supply Programme, Rented Sector Strategy and Housing Bill all expected within the next parliamentary term, there is much we can shape together.
And there is much to do: our research with Shelter Scotland and CIH Scotland found 53,000 affordable homes are required between 2021 and 2026, including 37,100 for social rent.
To support this, we need to get many other issues right, including appropriate levels of grant investment, action on climate change that avoids pushing tenants into fuel poverty, and a focus on improving existing homes as well as delivering new stock.
SFHA stands ready to support MSPs in meeting these challenges. We can connect you with our members, provide expert briefing on issues facing the social housing sector and help you understand the impact of policy on housing associations and co-operatives and their tenants.
As we emerge from a crisis, we face new opportunities. Let’s work together to embrace them.
Carolyn Lochhead is director of public affairs and communications at SFHA.
This article was sponsored by SFHA