Scottish Housing Day returns for 2021
Scottish Housing Day is back for the sixth year and will take place on Wednesday 15 September 2021.
The day is intended to raise awareness of challenges and successes in the housing sector and raise people’s awareness of their housing options. This year the focus is on housing and the climate emergency.
The Scottish Government has committed to reaching net zero emissions by 2045 and homes across Scotland currently account for around 15% of emissions. In order to meet ambitious targets, all homes will need to be energy efficient and the vast majority will need to switch to low or zero carbon heating.
Becoming a net zero nation will require significant investment and cooperation from people living in new and existing homes across all tenures. This year’s campaign will encourage everyone to think about the climate emergency and will signpost tenants and residents to sources of advice, information and support.
In order to mark this Scottish Housing Day, private and social landlords, tenants and residents organisations, developers, third sector organisations, advice agencies and individuals are encouraged to show their support by organising online events, Q&A sessions, fun days, sharing stories and blogs and though social media using the hashtag #ScottishHousingDay.
Ashley Campbell, policy and practice manager at CIH Scotland, said: “We know how important it is to tackle the climate emergency and we can all make a difference by making sure our homes are as energy efficient as possible and moving towards low or zero carbon heating. However, these changes will require significant investment and changes in behaviour and it’s not clear if people are aware of the scale of the challenge or about who will be expected to pay for our transition to net zero emissions.
“We want to encourage organisations and individuals to use this opportunity to spark discussion about the role of housing in reducing carbon emissions and to talk about challenges and solutions.”
Lori McElroy, chair of the Existing Homes Alliance, added: “We’re all going to have to make changes if we are to tackle the climate emergency and transforming how we heat our homes is a major part of that. Scottish Housing Day is a great way of raising awareness of the opportunities this presents for us to make sure all of our homes are warm, low carbon and affordable to heat.”
Mike Heffron, chief executive of Under One Roof, commented: “When it comes to making tenements more sustainable in terms of energy usage, flat owners in a tenement community that work together can achieve so much more than single owners working on their own. Scottish Housing Day supports the building of that community by giving owners, tenants, landlords and factors the opportunity to both discuss the ideas and challenges they face, and learn information they can act on to collectively address the climate emergency.”
Nicola Barclay, chief executive of Homes for Scotland, said: “With COP26 taking place in Glasgow in November, Scottish Housing Day has a timely role to fulfil in focusing minds on the energy efficiency of our homes, particularly on how we close the performance gap between new and older properties so that all are playing their part in the fight against climate change.”
John Blackwood, chief executive of the Scottish Association of Landlords, commented: “The Scottish Association of Landlords is excited about being a partner in supporting Scottish Housing Day as it embraces the challenge of tackling our climate emergency. We look forward to engaging with private sector landlords on how to make the homes they rent warm and affordable to heat in a modern age.”
Sally Thomas, chief executive of the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations, added: “Climate change is the most urgent and challenging issue of our time. Tackling it is a priority for SFHA and our members are already working hard to provide warm, energy efficient homes for social housing tenants across Scotland. We look forward to taking part in this year’s Scottish Housing Day and working together to arrest climate change, while ensuring everyone is treated equally and fairly in the transition to net zero.”
David Simpson, on behalf of ALACHO, said: “The scale of change required to address the climate emergency comes with real risks for those already facing fuel poverty or living in unaffordable housing. Social housing has a key role to play in ensuring that no one is left behind and that we work with our tenants to deliver a genuinely just transition to a zero carbon future for housing in Scotland.”