Ahead of next month’s Scottish Parliament election, Eildon Housing Association is calling on Scotland’s political parties to support investment in the social housing sector in order to kickstart the country’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.
Eildon Housing Association, based in the Scottish Borders, is making this call in support of the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations’ (SFHA) election campaign, Housing Changes Lives.
The SFHA is the national representative body for Scotland’s housing associations and co-operatives. The federation said its manifesto calls will support Scotland’s recovery from Covid-19 by tackling housing need, reducing poverty and creating jobs.
The manifesto’s asks include calling for the next Scottish Government to commit to:
- delivering 53,000 affordable homes, including 37,100 for social rent, between 2021 and 2026
- at least £3.4 billion investment, to help deliver these homes, which rises with increasing development costs during the next parliament
- a new government fund for improving and refurbishing existing housing stock
- increasing fuel poverty and energy efficiency funding to £244 million for 2021/22
- increasing social landlords’ adaptations funding to £17 million per year
- a new long-term fund which will enable social landlords, the third sector and communities to work together for those most impacted by the effects of Covid-19.
Nile Istephan, Eildon Housing Association CEO, said:
“Eildon wholeheartedly supports the SFHA’s Housing Changes Lives election campaign as we embark on our most ambitious business strategy ever – investing in excess of £120M in the Borders economy bringing much needed jobs, regeneration and affordable homes.
This expansion includes the creation of brand new ‘state of the art’ extra care developments in Galashiels, Kelso and Hawick. In addition, we have our Green Pilot project trialling ground-breaking innovative approaches for heating homes. The results from this pilot will inform our future build programme and help lead the way in determining how Scottish homes are built and lived in, in the future.”
SFHA Chief Executive Sally Thomas said:
“Our manifesto sets out where the next Scottish Government and housing associations and co-operatives can work together to deliver for Scotland and its people.
No other sector has the ability to influence social and economic change to the same extent as the social housing sector. Our manifesto provides a road map that shows how we can continue to address housing need, tackle poverty, and reduce our carbon footprint. Committing to the actions in it will drive economic and social recovery following the pandemic and consolidate it in the years ahead.”