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2012: the end of homelessness - the rural story

This one-day Shelter conference, held in Dumfries on 29 January 2007, was held to share experiences and discuss solutions and innovations to a wide range of rural housing issues. The event also looked to the future to tackle the lack of affordable housing in rural Scotland.

This was the final event to be hosted by Shelter Housing Action with Rural Communities (SHARC) before the project finishes at the end of March.

Morning plenary session: setting the scene

Alex Fergusson, MSP chaired the event and the morning plenary session gave an overview of some of the key issues in rural housing and set the scene for the day. Archie Stoddart, Director at Shelter Scotland, gave the first presentation, explaining what the 'Homelessness 2012' target is and how the challenge it poses can be met in rural areas.

Archie was followed by Liz Shiel, Director of Tribal Consulting, who explained some of the key findings of the recent report 'Allocation of Land for Affordable Housing through the Planning System'. The next presentation was given by Mark Shucksmith, Professor of Planning at the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne, who gave an insight into recommendations from the Affordable Rural Housing Commission regarding the future development of rural housing policy in England.

You can download their presentations here:

Ending rural homelessness by 2012
Archie Stoddart, Director, Shelter Scotland

Planning and affordable rural housing
Liz Shiel, Director, Tribal Consulting

Rural housing: new directions for the future
Mark Shucksmith, Professor of Planning, University of Newcastle Upon Tyne

Afternoon plenary session: present and future plans

The focus of the afternoon presentations was to look at some of the specific housing issues in Dumfries & Galloway and what is being done to address these. Alan Dowie, Director at Craigforth Consultants, focused on the findings and recommendations of the recent study on homelessness and housing need in the area.

John Lynch, Operations Manager, Housing Services, Dumfries & Galloway Council, investigated ways in which the local authority believes it can respond to the challenges of providing affordable rural housing.

Finally, Wendy Jesson, Development Officer for the SHARC project, talked about the work and achievements of the project over the past six years and explained how some of this work will be continued in the future.

You can download their presentations here:

Affordable housing needs in rural areas
Alan Dowie, Director, Craigforth Consultants

Solutions to the challenges for affordable housing
John Lynch, Operations Manager, Housing Services, Dumfries & Galloway Council

SHARC: a Dumfries & Galloway story
Wendy Jesson, Development Officer, SHARC

Workshop sessions

Delegates were also given the opportunity to attend two of four workshops, which provided more detailed information on specific rural housing issues.

Affordable home ownership
Alex Haddow, Communities Scotland

Ending rural homelessness
Derek Anderson, Dumfries & Galloway Council and Irene Callander, Dumfries & Galloway Housing Partnership

The first three year plan
Guy Pounder, Dumfries & Galloway Small Communities Housing Trust

New homes in rural areas
James Shirazi, Dumfries & Galloway Housing Partnership