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January 12, 2011

Take nothing for granted

LPL spoke at a recent housing conference and argued that community based housing associations, in their role as ‘community anchors,’ were going to be ever more crucial as local authorities come under overwhelming pressure to cut back on local services. Speaking on the same platform was Dr Kim McKee from St Andrews University whose research findings highlight the huge impact these organisations have had .  She warned of the dangers of complacency in relation to the threats now facing them

Dr. Kim McKee spoke at the EVH conference at St. Andrews in November 2010

Dr McKee speech can be viewed here

Her concluding remarks were…

Community housing has been a real positive strength and unique feature of the RSL sector in Scotland. It is premised on respecting the knowledge of local residents; is underpinned by the values of citizen empowerment and direct democracy; and plays a key role in delivering wider political agendas around community cohesion and social inclusion.

We need to focus on the positive elements the sector can deliver for local communities, not place its future under threat. Over the last 35 years CCHAs have been key players in delivering wider action and community regeneration agendas within Scotland’s most deprived communities, in addition to being excellent and responsive social landlords, providing quality, affordable housing for rent.

We should be celebrating the movement’s contribution to housing and social policy agendas in Scotland, not seeing it as ‘easy prey’ in an era of financial austerity and public sector cuts.