Blog: The future of the Scottish planning system

Scotland needs a planning system which nurtures growth and unlocks the potential of our people and places according to the Scottish Government. So what can we, or should we, expect from the draft planning bill which is expected to be introduced in the autumn, asks Wright, Johnston & Mackenzie’s Nicola Martin.

Published 12 April 2017

Blog: Be part of something that will change the lives of many others

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon encourages more people to take part in the Scottish Government’s Social Security Experience Panels.

Published 10 April 2017

Blog: Three priorities for tackling homelessness in Scotland

In the current political crisis-ridden, post-‘welfare reform’ context and given impressive changes to homelessness legislation elsewhere in the UK, Scotland’s claim to be a world-leader on homelessness may be weakening. Beth Watts identifies three areas where Scotland can raise its game.

Published 4 April 2017

Black's Blog: Jimmy Black fuses sheltered housing and telecare

In sheltered housing you get a pendant to call the warden. Outside sheltered housing, you get telecare. Two very different things, bought by two very different departments, under two very different procurement regimes?

Published 3 April 2017

Blog: Stigma of Homelessness

Putting people with lived experience of homelessness at the centre of the solution is key, writes Ewan Aitken as he blogs on Shelter Scotland’s Homelessness Conference.

Published 31 March 2017

Blog: Community Right-to-Buy can offer opportunities for developers

Many housebuilders and property developers hold an unfortunate perception around the extension of Community Right-to-Buy, introduced by the Scottish Government last year.

Published 30 March 2017

Blog: Community Shop Managers: More than ‘just retail’

Alaric Kime from Shelter Scotland’s Tollcross shop blogs on his experiences of being a Community Shop Manager.

Published 30 March 2017

Blog: Building a successful strategy for tenancy sustainment in social housing

Jacqueline Norwood is a housing consultant with more than 20 years of experience working in the Scottish housing sector. This year, she will chair HouseMark Scotland’s Tenancy Sustainability Specialist Club. She reflects on her own experiences and what these have taught her about a successful approach to tenancy sustainment in social housing.

Published 29 March 2017

Blog: Assessing the impact of LHA caps for young people living in Scotland

By Ashley Campbell, policy and practice manager at CIH Scotland

Published 27 March 2017

Blog: Over 1 million people living in poverty in Scotland: The families behind the figures

On Thursday 16th March, the Scottish Government released two sets of poverty statistics, on how many people live in poverty and on how many people live in ‘persistent poverty’, in other words, have been in poverty for three of the last four years.

Published 23 March 2017

Blog: Is it time for the social housing sector to get smarter about estate inspections?

‘Old habits die hard’ goes the expression and nowhere does this appear to be truer than in the area of estate inspections by social landlords. A recent HouseMark survey found that two thirds of social landlords still log their inspection reports manually on-site with pen and paper before transferring the data to a central system back at the office.  At the recent Chartered Institute of Housing Scotland Festival, in Glasgow, one landlord told us they still use spreadsheets to record legally required annual gas safety inspections.

Published 23 March 2017

Blog: Scottish land, planning and finance: addressing the self-build triple threat

The UK’s communities secretary Sajid Javid started the year with a visit to the Netherlands and Germany to look at how self- and custom-build homes can make a contribution to the enduring challenge of adequate housing delivery. This comes hot on the heels of the Scottish Government’s recent conference on the subject, and the Scottish Conservatives calls for a new ‘Grand Designs Plan’ to help councils facilitate such development north of the border. Could 2017 be the year when the UK embraces the self-build house?

Published 22 March 2017

Blog: Letting Agent Plus: helping letting agents support private tenants to sustain their tenancies

With 14% of all households in Scotland now calling the private rented sector home compared with just 5% back in 1999, more people than ever are looking to the private rented sector for long-term housing solutions either through choice or necessity. This growth has led to a more diverse tenant base and, for a variety of reasons, many more private tenants now require extra ongoing or occasional support to access and sustain private tenancies.

Published 21 March 2017

Blog: Building change for Scotland – reflections on a big week for housing

Last week was full of important announcements and milestones for affordable housing in Scotland, writes housing minister Kevin Stewart.

Published 21 March 2017