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Building Foundations for Allocating Healthy Homes: event summary

Katrina Reid, Health Improvement Manager – Health and Housing, NHS Health Scotland, details the recent seminar hosted by NHS Health Scotland on allocations, health and wellbeing.

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A half-day seminar hosted by NHS Health Scotland and chaired by SFHA’s Policy Lead Zhan McIntyre explored opportunities to promote positive health outcomes for vulnerable groups. Speakers and delegates shared examples of how identifying local need has informed housing allocations policies.

Attendees working in housing, health and social care came together in Glasgow for Building Foundations for Allocating Healthy Homes in November 2019. Through presentations and discussions, they shared good practice regarding allocation policies that enable equitable access to sustainable social housing tenancies.

The seminar began with Lucy Robertson, Managing Director of housing consultancy firm Craigforth, presenting on the Housing Scotland Act 2014 allocations guidance, and highlighting opportunities for social landlords to build flexibility into their allocations policies.

This was followed by a presentation from the Wheatley Group’s, Catherine Wilkie. Catherine described the group’s Choice Based Letting Model, where available properties are advertised, and people make bids for them. The approach can be challenging for vulnerable people to use, and Catherine described the design features of their model which support homeless people and other groups with applying for housing.

Jackie Boyd, of Housing Options for Older People, then explained how they take a person-centred approach to respond to the housing needs of older people in Glasgow. To do this, they outlined the partnerships and protocols enabling them to navigate allocation policies.

Professor Isobel Anderson of Stirling University then presented research entitled Match Me – what works for adapted social housing lettings. She highlighted barriers disabled people faced accessing appropriate social housing, presented good practice and highlighted recommendations for improvement.

Finally, before delegates broke into groups to discuss the presentations, Cameron Mitchell, Strategy and Support Manager from South Lanarkshire Council, gave a presentation on the council’s allocations policy. Cameron described how the council works in partnership with housing associations to meet the needs of homeless households and how the allocation process is tailored to meet people’s varying needs and circumstances.

Partners who attended on the day will use what they learned to inform their approaches to housing allocations policies. To find out more about these examples, please visit NHS Health Scotland’s website where you can download the presentations online.

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