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May 31, 2011

The future is community led

Earlier this year, the Scottish Government published a paper aimed at stimulating discussion on the future of regeneration policy.  With Alex Neil back in the Ministerial driving seat, it’s safe to assume that the discussion paper won’t gather dust. The direction of the paper is encouraging – pointing towards community led approaches. Anyone wishing to respond to the paper should do so by 10th June. Here’s what the community based housing associations have to say about it

A full copy of the response from the Forum can be seen here

Glasgow and West of Scotland Forum of Housing Associations (GWSF) has published its response to the Scottish Government’s discussion document about regeneration, Building a Sustainable Future.

Written by Dr Kim McKee of the Centre for Housing Research at the University of St Andrews, the paper draws on discussions with many of the 50-plus community-controlled housing associations and co-operatives (CCHAs) who are GWSF members.

GWSF Chair, Peter Howden, said: “I am pleased that the Scottish Government invited views about the future of regeneration policy earlier this year. We have submitted our paper to the new Government and look forward to discussing it with them, in particular the greater role many CCHAs are willing and able to play in regeneration.

“Regeneration is as much a part of what CCHAs are about as the lettering is in a stick of rock. We are part of our communities, so we know at first hand that good housing is not enough to tackle really deep-rooted issues such as poverty, poor health and inequality.

“Kim McKee’s excellent paper captures the current achievements of CCHAs in taking local action, to make their communities stronger and better places to live. And it sets out a vision of how we could take things to a new level in the future, through our own efforts as community anchor organisations and with commitment on the part of government and public bodies to support to community-led regeneration.

“I would stress this isn’t just about how much we spend on regeneration, it’s about how well we spend it. In the current climate, it’s vital that we get the best value out of available resources. CCHAs show that local, community-led solutions help achieve exactly that”.

Dr Kim McKee said: “CCHAs are more than just social landlords. Given their local scale and place-based focus they are important anchor organisations in their communities. They add real social and economic value through their significant contributions to cross-cutting policy agendas around health, worklessness and inequality. With more support, they have the capacity and potential to deliver even more.”