GWSF’s work on housing strategy covers both national and local issues.
National housing strategy
GWSF seeks to input to and influence the development of national housing strategy in various ways. We have liaison meetings with the Housing Minister around twice a year, with our most recent meeting being with Kevin Stewart, Minister for Local Government and Housing, in mid-July 2016.
We meet frequently with Scottish Government officials on a wide variety of policy matters. Amongst other things, these meetings help us contribute to the shaping of policy or legislative proposals before they are formally consulted upon. And of course we make formal responses to all consultations of significance to our members: our normal practice is to suggest to members some provisional lines of response and then gather in comments before finalising our submission. On some topics we will bring members together to discuss the issues.
GWSF is a member of the Scottish Government’s Joint Housing Delivery Plan steering group, which comprises around 30 organisations with a central interest in housing policy. This is partly an advisory group – a sort of sounding board for the Scottish Government – but also is directly delivering a number of actions within the overall Delivery Plan (see the Plan here). In 2016 GWSF has been working with three other organisations to produce a booklet highlighting examples of where development or place making initiatives have been shaped by community involvement. See the document here – Community-driven-place-making-joint-publication-Sept-2016
The Forum always seeks to use the opportunity presented by local and national elections to set out the changes we would like to see to policy on housing and regeneration. Ahead of the May 2016 Scottish Election we produced a Manifesto document highlighting the many different government agendas which the activities of community controlled housing associations contribute to.
Local housing strategy
GWSF member associations work with their local authority partners to influence the direction of housing investment and other key local housing strategy issues. The shape of this work will vary from one area to another. GWSF is particularly active in Glasgow, where we aim to influence the Council’s housing strategy through ongoing dialogue as well as through commenting on consultation drafts of the Council’s draft Local Housing Strategy.