The 8th meeting of the Housing partnership took place in Glasgow in September. The meeting was generously hosted by the Scottish Cities Alliance. Members had the opportunity to exchange with Scottish Government and Glasgow City officials, responsible for housing policy in Scotland and Glasgow in particular. Susan Aitkin (Leader Glasgow City Council) and Patrick Flynn (Head of Housing and Regeneration Services Glasgow City Council) talked about the important role of affordable housing in achieving Glasgow’s urban regeneration objectives. Deborah Smith (Scottish Government) informed the Partnership about the Joint Housing Delivery Plan for Scotland, which involves close partnership working between government and key stakeholders to deliver against the Scottish Government’s ambitious targets for affordable housing. David Bookbinder, Chair of the Glasgow & West of Scotland Forum of Housing Associations informed the delegates about the role and achievements of Scotland’s community based housing associations.
Research findings on Innovative Funding for Affordable Housing in old and new Member States
The main part of the Partnership meeting in Glasgow focused on finance solutions for affordable housing. The findings of two research projects to explore innovative housing financing in the old and new member states were presented. Professor Ken Gibb of Glasgow University presented the key findings of the research project Financing Issues in Affordable Housing. The research has focused on barriers and enablers relating to affordable housing supply in Western Europe (Old Member States). The main part of the presentation focused on the detailed case study findings and lessons from six countries. In parallel, József Hegedüs, managing director at the Metropolitan Research Institute (MRI), presented findings on the MRI research project on Affordable Housing in Central and Eastern Europe. The presentation identified the distinctive characteristics of housing markets for different groups of New Member States. A common feature in the NMS however is the high proportion of multi-unit buildings in urban areas. The discussion highlighted the potential for EU funds to support renovation projects. More generally, members discussed the need to address how loans and funding can be used in a more integrated way to support affordable housing. Building on the findings of the studies, the Partnership will develop clear recommendations and actions with regard to financing solutions.
Update on public feedback and action plan development
At the meeting, members also discussed the results of the Public feedback consultation on the Partnership’s Action Plan. The consultation focused on the actions emerging under the Better Regulation and Better Knowledge themes. A presentation on the feedback showed that responses on the emerging actions were generally very positive and supportive. The responses also generally highlighted the challenge of addressing the diversity of national and local contexts and the need to provide clear evidence on the governance arrangements and conditions that need to be in place for the recommended interventions to succeed. The results of the public feedback will be incorporated in the Partnership’s action plan going forwards.