CHOICE. Conference bookings are now open

Choice. From the housing we want to live in, to the area we want to settle, to the support we want to tap into.

Choice is the core principle that will lead us through the dilemmas and debates about what options are ‘right’ for whom, and in which circumstances. And what options are available, where and how quickly. While continuing to call for and create the options we need.

Choose from a variety of interactive sessions over three days: 

  • Housing Choice
  • Support Choice
  • My Choice

You can join us for one theme – each day has been designed as a carefully curated programme in its own right. Or book all three themes across three days and seamlessly connect the experiences and knowledge from each.

We are delighted to announce a keynote from Professor Ruth Chang from the University of Oxford. Professor Chang’s research on choice and decision-making has received international recognition and media coverage.

And we are proud to present:

  • Iain Smith, Keegan Smith Solicitors
  • Ishbel Smith, Heart in Mouth
  • Dr David McCartney, Chair of the Residential Rehabilitation Working Group
  • David Pentland, Policy Lead, Scottish Government
  • Robin Johnson, founder and Editor of PIElink
  • Pat Togher, Assistant Chief Officer, GCHSCP
  • James Docherty and Kirsty Giles, Scottish Violence Reduction Unit
  • Helen Carlin, Rowan Alba
  • Dr Martin Kettle, Glasgow Caledonian University
  • Sabir Zazai, Chief Executive of Scottish Refugee Council 
  • Oliver Towsend, Platfform Wales
  • And many more!

Don’t miss the launch of new research on the role of supported housing as a response to homelessness in Scotland. Or the report on a national conversation that asked what progress has been made in the delivery of the Ending Homelessness Together Plan. And we are proud to welcome the launch of the Homelessness Scotland Monitor to this year’s conference, brought to you by Crisis UK.

Keep an eye on the programme for new speakers being added.

We are using virtual event platform ‘Remo‘ to bring you a unique and creative conference experience. Delegates can mix, move table-to-table and network like in real life! 

Bookings now open for our Learning Lounge for May to July 2021

First up is Tools, Tips Techniques for Involving People in your Service: an online session for both frontline practitioners and managers.

Often individuals and communities who don’t have a common, collective voice and are typically underrepresented in consultation and the development of services.

This interactive course looks in depth at:

• Considerations when engaging those who use our services

• Practical tools for engagement

• Common barriers to engagement and how to avoid them

• How to create a safe and friendly environment for participation

• Creating equal relationships and boundaries

• When and where? Opportunities for engagement are everywhere, how to find them

Date 10 May 2021 | 1 x 3 hour session, 10am -1pm | Fee HNS Member £60 / Non Member £78

Book here:

BOOKING OPEN for ‘Branching Out’ Scotland’s Housing First Conference 2021

Booking is now open for ‘Branching Out’ the 2021 Housing First Scotland conference, an essential online event in partnership with the Wheatley Group to shape the next steps and launch the National Framework for Housing First.

Mark 23-24 March in your diary and view the 2-day programme and speakers by clicking here. You can also get in touch about the sponsorship and other opportunities we still have available by emailing

There will be opportunities to hear directly from those responsible for Scottish Government homelessness policy, as well as sector leaders from health, housing and homelessness organisations across a day-and-a-half of activities and interactive sessions.

  1. Firm Foundations: The first theme this year covers Housing First as an integrated policy priority with shared financial commitment, and shared outcomes. This theme includes the launch of the National Framework for Housing First in Scotland.
  2. Olive Branches: Successful local partnerships are central to the success of the Pathfinder. Learn how local Housing First partnerships have been formed, how they function, why they work and what aspects have been more challenging.
  3. Low & High Hanging Fruit: in theme three we explore the practical lessons learned, the early successes, and some of the growing pains. This theme will help us grow, improve and connect Housing First as it starts up in most Scottish council areas during 2021.

This is a pivotal year in the transition of Housing First towards becoming the default and rapid response for people whose homelessness is made much harder by experiences such as trauma and addictions. From pilots to Pathfinder, and now branching out across Scotland, the national challenge is to keep growing, while learning and improving as we go.

With three themes across two days, you will hear personal testimony, conversations, keynotes, lively panel discussions, sharing of data and knowledge, and, as always, the opportunity to get involved.

View the 2-day programme and speakers by clicking here.

Book a place at one, or all, of the sessions by clicking here.

SFHA and Homeless Network Scotland strategic partnership

The Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA) are hosting an online event Housing Now, Housing’s Future which takes place between 18 February and 4 March in four packed events spread over four half-days.

In summer 2020, SFHA and Homeless Network Scotland formed a strategic partnership, with the aim of strengthening the social housing sector’s role in tackling homelessness.

Our Chief Executive, Maggie Brünjes, will be discussing this partnership on day two of the SFHA conference. The session will profile some of the work being undertaken by Homeless Network Scotland alongside SFHA to support work on homelessness, poverty and inequality and explore how we plan to enhance this strategic partnership as we look towards recovery from the pandemic.

Learning experiences from home in the Learning Lounge

The following training courses are running in February and March 2021.

Co-Production in Commissioning and Procurement of Services (for local authority staff):
22 and 24 February from 10am until 1pm delivered over two, three-hour sessions.

This course is for commissioning and procurement teams, grant making organisations and those in the voluntary or private sectors involved in developing new services within their organisations wishing to gain an understanding of new approaches in Commissioning and Procurement. This session will use a solution-focused approach to explain about local needs, aspirations, and assets; clarify where and how to begin when involving lived experience in procurement; explore the benefits and impact of involving lived experience; understand what works and what doesn’t – from people with lived experience.

A Day in the Sun: Homeless Legislation in Scotland
10 March 2021 from 10am until 1pm
This course looks in detail at existing and recent Housing and Homelessness Legislation in Scotland and how it connects to create a world-leading safety net for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness. This starts from the foundation 1987, 2001 and 2003 Acts – progressing right up to changes in local connection, intentionality and the Unsuitable Accommodation Order during 2019-21. Delegates will examine pieces of legislation, while identifying and analysing local challenges in implementing. Using current data and analysis, this is an interactive and participatory course which will broaden participant’s knowledge and understanding of Housing and Homelessness Legislation.

Rough Guide to Homelessness Policy in Scotland
22 and 29 March from 10am until 1pm delivered over two, three-hour hour sessions.

This course explores the current national and local policy infrastructure that underpins the legislation. Since 2017, the influence of the Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Action Group (HARSAG) and the Scottish Parliament’s Inquiry on Homelessness has led to the Scottish Government/COSLA High-Level Plan to End Homelessness and 32 local Rapid Rehousing Transition Plans. Presented in a rough guide format, this innovative course will broaden knowledge and understanding of current policy to prevent, alleviate and ultimately end homelessness in Scotland.

Delivering Support in a Digital Environment
25th March from 10am until 1pm

Every year the Government sets ambitious targets to significantly reduce the number of people who experience digital exclusion, but until recently online portals were seen as little more than passive providers of information, with digital engagement and support reserved for only the most tech-savvy.

While advances in technology, the proliferation of devices and communication channels, and the greater availability of data for a 24/7 on-demand public have made digital support more accessible, COVID-19 made supporting people digitally a necessity. This Innovative course will introduce the participant to the use of digital support as both a compliment and an alternative to historic support systems by:

• Exploring the range of digital tools available, their uses and benefits
• Sharing learning from services which use digital technology historically
—Samaritans, Fellowships, help lines etc
• Sharing tools and tips for maximising digital contact and engagement;
• Identifying what to do when something feels wrong?
• Exploring best practice in digital safety for staff and clients
• Reading between the lines – interpreting problems without body language?
• Exploring how to use technology as a client diary.