Associate feature: The social housing sector can deliver the economic boost Scotland requires
With the current Scottish Parliament ending next May, 2021 was always going to be a critically important year for SFHA and Scotland’s social housing sector.
We didn’t know just how critical until the pandemic hit.
A home has never been more important. Covid-19 has shown how vital good quality homes are to people’s health and wellbeing.
It’s vitally important that we secure a commitment to build the affordable homes Scotland requires between 2021-26 – as well as the funding to deliver them.
In the run up to the election, SFHA will be doing everything in our power to achieve this.
Earlier this year, our joint research with CIH Scotland and Shelter Scotland found, during the next parliament, we need 53,000 affordable homes, including 37,100 for social rent, backed up by £3.4 billion funding.
In order to deliver these homes at the pace which they’ll be required, the majority must be delivered as new build properties.
Building them will not only deliver much-needed homes, it will also drive economic growth, tackle poverty, create jobs and reinvigorate communities – and this social and economic stimulus will be required more than ever as we look to Scotland’s post-pandemic recovery.
Our members were quick to respond to COVID-19. They introduced remote working while continuing to deliver vital services as well as adapting and creating new ones.
They have proven to be pivotal community anchors, forming new partnerships with local organisations.
They have helped to support communities across Scotland by delivering food and medicine, providing access to technology and the internet to keep people connected, carrying out wellbeing calls, and donating emergency hardship funds.
Our members will continue to support their tenants through the pandemic, and I know that, as we climb cautiously out of the crisis, these new working practices and partnerships will continue and flourish.
We must remain hopeful and connected as we look to 2021. Scotland and its people are going to need the social and economic benefits that only our sector can deliver.
Sally Thomas is the chief executive of the SFHA
This article was sponsored by the SFHA