Safe As Houses: Day 2 Round-up

Let’s hear it for the policy writers, the strategy framers and the law makers!

Day 2 of the Safe As Houses conference was a celebration of the many unsung heroes of the moment, working rapidly to make substantial changes to law and policy to protect the people most at risk during the pandemic and lockdown. 

But what now? Today, through the theme of “A Day in the Sun for Good Law and Policy” we explored how we can build from these successes to ensure that good law and policy translates on the ground, every time and for every person. 

Today’s Ministerial Address and Q&A from Kevin Stewart MSP (Minister for Local Government Housing & Planning) was followed by a session with Marion Gibbs (Team Leader, Scottish Government) who provided an expert briefing that set the scene on recent and imminent law and policy changes to prevent and reduce homelessness. 

Our live lounge discussion on the challenges and opportunities of good law and policy was a lively session, with Ian Brennan (Director of Regulation, Scottish Housing Regulator), Professor Suzanne Fitzpatrick (Director of ISPHERE, Heriot-Watt University), Aaliya Seyal (Chief Executive, Legal Services Agency), Graham Thomson (Team Leader, Scottish Government), Alison Watson (Director, Shelter Scotland) sharing their views on the challenges and opportunities of good law and policy. Questions to the panel centred on what more can be done to make sure law and policy works on the ground. 

The afternoon saw the launch of a new consultation on the role of the private rented sector as a solution to homelessness. This work is part of series of route-maps from the Everyone Home Collective and was led by Lucie Dunn (Senior Best Practice Officer, Crisis Scotland).

HARSAG recommendations…made easy? You bet! This speed training session covered all 104 recommendations in 15-minutes – a must for busy people who want to know the HARSAG bottom line. And a useful briefing ahead of the panel session that followed, “Rapid Rehousing Transition Plans: the Platform For Recovery”. 

Marion Gibbs (Team Leader, Scottish Government) hosted Olga Clayton (Group Director for Housing and Care, Wheatley Group), Clare Mailer (Head of Housing, Perth & Kinross Council), John Mills (Head of Housing, Fife Council and Co-Chair, ALACHO), Jon Sparkes (Chief Executive, Crisis and HARSAG Chair) and Sally Thomas (Chief Executive, SFHA) in a live lounge discussion exploring RRTPS. While RRTPS have been described as the right platform for pandemic recovery, our panel explored the state of the nation and the question of when will RRTPs start to reap the rewards we all want.

Another jam-packed day concluded with a seminar chaired by Sir Andrew Cubie, exploring how we can take the politics out of homelessness and build a cross-party manifesto for ending homelessness in Scotland. With the 2021 Scottish Parliament Elections on the horizon, questions from the Everyone Home Collective, All in For Change Team and conference delegate were put to the main Scottish political parties.

If you didn’t manage to join us today, there’s still time to register for the final days of Safe As Houses, when our sessions “Same Storm, Different Boat” and “If We Don’t All Row, The Boat Won’t Go!” will explore the inequalities at the heart of homelessness and how we can make a collective impact on homelessness. Find out more about what’s still to come in Safe As Houses, and book your unique conference experience here

Thank you to everyone who helped make day 2 of Safe As Houses such a success. We hope to see you for day 3!