September 28, 2022

IN SEPTEMBER, the Scottish Authorities will lay out its plans for the approaching yr in its annual Authorities Programme. There are many points to be addressed, and members of the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA) hope to establish actions to assist their tenants get by the following few months.

Housing associations and cooperatives present protected, heat and reasonably priced housing for a lifetime for folks of all backgrounds. They play a key function in ending homelessness, overcoming poverty and overcoming the local weather emergency. Their tenants, a 3rd of whom are already residing with gasoline shortages, are on the forefront of the cost-of-living disaster. And proper now they’re in determined want of presidency help.

SFHA desires to see motion in three areas within the Authorities Program.

First, we should assist our residents maintain their heads above water, warmth their houses and set the desk with meals. We’re asking the Scottish Authorities for a £2.5m Price of Residing Fund to allow housing associations and cooperatives to offer monetary, meals and gasoline help on to their tenants.

Second, we’d like continued important funding in vitality prices. Final week we launched a £2m Social Housing Help Fund funded by the Scottish Authorities to assist tenants going through gasoline poverty. This type of funding is strictly what is required: however we are going to want rather more to avert disaster this winter.

Thirdly, we can’t lose sight of the pressing must construct new social houses. Hire within the social housing sector is usually half that of personal landlords, so extra social housing is required to handle unaffordable hire. Furthermore, the upper vitality effectivity of social housing implies that it is a crucial software within the struggle towards local weather change. However our members are reporting skyrocketing building prices, in addition to uncertainty in regards to the prices of addressing the following spherical of decarbonization challenges. With out help on each of those points, Scotland’s aim of 110,000 reasonably priced houses by 2032 will probably be missed.

The following parliamentary time period can even see the Housing Invoice, which can replicate elements of the Scottish authorities’s technique for the rental sector. We want this to be effectively thought out, placing tenant rights first, recognizing the necessary variations between the social and rental sectors: not least the truth that housing associations and cooperatives reinvest hire in creating and sustaining high-quality, low-value houses

Undoubtedly, the Scottish authorities’s subsequent steps contain tightrope strolling because it balances emergency funding right this moment with capital funding within the carbon-neutral houses we desperately want tomorrow.

Our members will probably be there for his or her tenants by all of it. Housing associations and cooperatives are on this for the long run: the sector has performed a key function within the restoration from earlier financial crises and is central to native communities. We want the Scottish authorities to belief and spend money on our members to assist tenants climate these newest crises: the necessity for social housing has hardly ever been better.

Sally Thomas, SFHA CEO


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