September 15, 2010
How housing can survive the cuts
In recent months, the Scottish Government has been encouraging a debate on the future of housing policy. Housing : Fresh Thinking, New ideas has invited comment and contributions either online or through a series of events held over the summer. A housing policy statement will be published later this year when the full picture of Government spending cuts becomes clear. LPL networks, EVH and GWSF, have submitted a contribution which argues that communities should be helped to help themselves.
What about … helping communities to help themselves
With public service providers under severe financial pressures, now is the right time for fresh thinking about how to join up housing with wider agendas in disadvantaged communities.
This doesn’t need to be about additional investment – grassroots solutions can cost less and deliver more sustainable results. A commitment to support practical, community-led initiatives would be a good place to start. This needs flexible thinking and vision from both central and local government Not every area needs community-based rooted and where local people have the desire and the capacity to take more control over the things that affect their daily lives. These approaches have worked well in housing, through community ownership.
As community anchor organisations, local housing associations can support local people to achieve more in other areas too. The possibilities are endless – ranging from health improvement projects, to community ownership of assets, to new ways of providing some public services.