In the build up to the 2016 Scottish elections, Annie Mauger, executive director for the devolved nations at CIH, blogs on what we are asking of the election candidates in our Agenda for Change and what housing questions you might want to ask your local candidate too.
As election fever builds up in Scotland, we were part of a great Housing Hustings event last week, with partners from Shelter, SFHA and RICS. My colleague Ashley Campbell reported on the really excellent debate from the politicians. You can also check out the Twitter feed at #housinghustings16.
Our voting choices are always going to be based on issues that we care about and at CIH Scotland we want members to have as much information as possible about party stances on housing, to help in your personal decision making.
Our Agenda for Change document was based on our discussions with members, our research and our surveys over the last few months, synthesising your priorities into our key ‘asks’ for a future Scottish Government. The uniqueness of our agenda compared with the many manifestos out there is the focus on driving up professional standards in all tenures through education and training and recognising the importance of the contribution that housing professionals make towards delivering on wider social agendas and promoting and supporting the development of better standards of management and practice.
So we have written to all of the candidates from every party in every constituency to ask them to sign up and support our Agenda for Change and you can view the list of candidates signed up so far here. We have also asked representatives of each political party to give us a guest blog, setting out their views, so watch this space!
I am well known in our household for engaging whoever knocks on the door in a debate about a local issue, but I believe that two things happen when you do. You find out what candidates know and think, but also you raise their awareness that they are being held to account on the very important issue of housing and they will remember that when they are challenged on important issues.
You could ask your local candidates some of these questions:
How will your party increase supply of affordable homes?
How will you make poor quality homes better?
How will you improve the social security system in Scotland?
How will you make sure that housing is recognised as key to people’s wellbeing?
How will you drive up standards of housing and management in the PRS?
So in making your decisions about how to vote, keep an eye out for more information on our website and also why not download and keep our Agenda for Change by your front door? It might make for an interesting discussion with party campaigners on the doorstep and give you some help in choosing which box to tick on 5th May!