Final report of the Joint Housing Policy and Delivery Group.
The Joint Housing Policy and Delivery Group (formerly the Housing Policy Advisory Group - HPAG) brought together stakeholders from across the housing sector. Working with Scottish Government officials, the group's remit was to ensure that actions in the five-year Joint Housing Delivery Plan for Scotland, published in 2015, were taken forward. The actions were grouped into two main sections:
Home and Place Actions - These actions linked into the Housing and Regeneration Directorate outcomes of:
a) A well-functioning housing system - availability of choice, homes people can afford and growth of supply
b) High quality sustainable homes - safe, warm, resources efficient and promoting well-being:
- Supply, Investment and Planning Actions
- Sustainability Actions
- Place making Actions
Housing Journey and Support Actions - These actions linked into the Housing and Regeneration Directorate outcomes of:
a) Homes that meet people's needs - accessing and keeping a home and supporting independent living
b) Sustainable communities - economically, physically and socially sustainable:
- Independent Living Actions
- Housing Options Actions
- Private Rented Sector Actions
Of course, none of us could foresee what 2020 would bring by way of new challenges and priorities as we all moved to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Several bespoke groups were set up in quick response to the pandemic and we continue to work in close partnership in order to consider the implications of, and recovery from, COVID-19. With these new groups in place we have reached the view that the time is now right to move away from the previous JHPDG structure to models of partnership working which build on these new structures.
This report therefore brings the JHPDG to a close by both providing a summary of some of its work and achievements and outlining how the Scottish Government will continue to engage and collaborate with stakeholders.
JHPDG work and achievements
Meeting twice a year until Covid hit in the Spring of 2020, the group achieved a number of successes through a collaborative working approach. It strengthened the sharing of information, messaging and communications. Below are some specific examples of where the JHPDG's work is evident:
- A number of JHPDG members were involved in setting up Scottish Housing Day (SHD). Back for a sixth year in September of 2021 SHD continues to highlight challenges and achievements across the housing sector. This year's event focussed on housing and climate emergency as a pre-cursor to the UN's climate conference COP26 in November - when the world's attention was on Glasgow.
- The group worked collaboratively on policies such as:
- Planning Reform
- Landlord Registration System
- Reviewed the Scottish Social Housing Charter
- Worked with the Homelessness Prevention and Strategy Group (HPSG) to identify interventions which would help to end homelessness
- Co-produced proposals on Private Rented Sector (PRS) regulation on energy efficiency. These regulations, The Energy Efficiency (Domestic Private Rented Property (Scotland) Regulations 2020 were due to come into force on 1 April 2020. However, as a result of Covid related legislation and impacts across the PRS, the regulations will now be introduced in 2025.
- Supported the sector on data and how innovation can strengthen the operation of the housing providers and promoted data sharing. One example of how this was seen in practice was through the work SFHA did to build skills and capacity for innovation, the foundation of which was collection, storage, analysis and insight from data. Using this the SFHA's Innovation and Futures Thinking Programme, brought housing associations and other stakeholders together to develop new ideas and solutions for the future.
- Committed to improve their consideration of the changing housing needs of minority ethnic people and support their recruitment into the housing sector.
- Acted as a useful forum to share insights and prepare for leaving the EU - looking at potential impacts on the housing sector, including tenants and residents who rely on homes and services, and our housing ambition's, using academia and government analysis on workforce, materials and demand.
- Became involved in the development of the Housing to 2040 strategy informing the development of the Scottish Government's Housing to 2040 discussion paper.
Future engagement and collaboration
The groups listed below were set up in response to the pandemic and continue to meet regularly.
- Housing System Policy Circle -established as part of the Social Renewal Advisory Board infrastructure to set out the short, medium and long term direction for housing policy in particular using the opportunities to build back better as we emerge from the coronavirus crisis.
- Joint Housing Resilience Chairs Group - set up to share housing issues arising from the Covid-19 pandemic across the different housing resilience groups.
- Social Housing Resilience Group - set up to tackle a wide variety of social housing issues arising from the pandemic.
- Local Government Resilience Group - set up to tackle a wide variety of local authority housing issues arising from the Covid-19 pandemic.
- Private Rented Sector Resilience Group - set up to tackle a wide variety of PRS housing issues arising from the Covid-19 pandemic.
Looking ahead we will use the above groups, and engage with other partners as appropriate, to draw on the skills and expertise of the sector as a whole as we take forward future work as part of Housing to 2040.
The content of this report does not necessarily reflect the official opinion of the Scottish Government. The views expressed in it are those of the individual author(s).