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Halfway to 2012: delivering on Scotland's homelessness commitments

Sponsored by Orchard & Shipman.

This one-day conference, held in Glasgow on 1 October 2007, brought together people from a wide range of backgrounds to share experience as to what progress has been made and what still needs to be done to meet the 2012 target in Scotland.

Morning plenary session

Councillor Harry McGuigan , COSLA Housing Spokesperson, chaired the event and the morning plenary session gave an overview of the progress that has been made and the priorities for the coming years in meeting the 2012 target of abolishing the priority need test. Stewart Maxwell MSP , Minister for Communities and Sport, gave the first presentation, outlining The Scottish Government's commitment to the target and the policies put in place to achieve it.

The Minister was followed by Archie Stoddart , Director of Shelter Scotland, who looked at the main challenges faced by housing professionals over the next five years in meeting the target and how these might be addressed. Archie also gave some results from a Shelter poll to determine readiness for 2012 in different areas.

The next presentation was given by Dr Isobel Anderson , Director of Housing Policy & Practice Unit at Stirling University, who gave an overview of the current housing situation in Scotland and what still needs to be done for the 2012 target to be achieved, while comparing Scotland's approach to tackling homelessness with that of other European countries.

You can download their presentations here:

2012: Making it happen
Stewart Maxwell MSP, Minister for Communities and Sport

2012: Meeting the challenges
Archie Stoddart, Director, Shelter Scotland

2012: Leading the field?
Dr Isobel Anderson, Director of Housing Policy & Practice Unit, University of Stirling

Morning workshop sessions

Delegates were given a choice of four workshops as follows:

RSLs - At the heart of the 2012 commitment
Jacqueline Norwood, Link Housing Association Ltd & Andy Young, Scottish Federation of Housing Associations

Planning for affordable housing
Dr Madhu Satsangi, University of Stirling

Reforming the Right to Buy
David Robertson, Fife Council & Rosemary Brotchie, Shelter Scotland

Empty properties and Argyll & Bute example discussion paper
Gavin Corbett, Shelter Scotland

Afternoon plenary session

The focus of the afternoon presentations was to look at some specific initiatives that can help organisations to meet the 2012 target. Ron Ashton , Director of Neighbourhood Services, Angus Council, explained the reasoning behind the council's decision to abolish priority need in Angus this year as well as how they are going about achieving this.

Andrew Morrison , Director - Policy & Business Development, Orchard & Shipman, outlined the role that the private rented sector can play in helping local authorities increase their housing supply for homeless households.

Finally, Councillor Adam Montgomery , Provost, Midlothian Council, talked about the council's house building programme, the only new build mainstream council house building that is taking place in Scotland, and how these new properties will help the council meet a range of housing needs.

You can download their presentations here:

Abolishing Priority Need in 2007
Ron Ashton, Director of Neighbourhood Services, Angus Council

The private rented sector and homelessness
Andrew Morrison, Director - Policy & Business Development, Orchard & Shipman

The return of new build council houses (not yet available)
Councillor Adam Montgomery, Provost, Midlothian Council

Afternoon workshop sessions

There were four options for delegates to select from as follows:

Assessment and support
Vincent McDaid & Russell Robertson, Glasgow Homelessness Partnership

A Housing Options approach to homelessness
Kirsty Morrison, City of Edinburgh Council

Temporary accommodation presentation
Craig Dunlop, Shelter Scotland

Practical support for local authorities on homelessness
Mike Nolan & Iain McLean, The Scottish Government

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