In communities across Scotland, there are people who are proactive and committed to local housing and local people. How can we harness and provide a structure to support this huge asset?
That was the focus of a meeting that Homeless Network Scotland and Associates with first-hand experience of homelessness hosted with Bailie Paul McCabe from the Linn ward and Councillor Sean Ferguson from the Newlands/Auldburn ward in Glasgow.
Bailie McCabe and Cllr Ferguson were keen to explore how preventing homelessness starts in our communities. One key area of interest was the role of local area partnerships and how this structure could help support the work we and many others are doing.
Area partnerships have a unique position in the local community that they represent, connecting with the wides range of people from elected members, anchor organisations, HSCPs, community trusts, police, fire, and local people, who are all trying to improve the area and make it a better place to live.
The new Housing Bill being introduced by Parliament later this year will include new legal duties on public bodies to ASK (about housing) and ACT (on the information you are given). While most community groups, connectors and champions won’t have any legal duty on them, a similar approach could be successfully adopted.
So, our discussion centred on the role we could all play in making sure communities across the city are aware of the new duties and the impact that they can make. And how we support individuals and groups who don’t have a legal duty, but who want to help, to mirror the ‘ask and act’ duties and help protect homes and prevent homelessness.
You can read more about the impact of taking a place-based approach to prevent homelessness from happening here.