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SFHA Development Conference: speaker interview with Colin Taylor

Ahead of our Development Conference, taking place on 15 March at Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh, we asked our speakers some questions about what they'll be discussing during their session, and what they think housing will look like by 2040. Colin Taylor, Housing Services Manager at Scotland Excel, shared his thoughts with us. 

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What are you discussing at the conference and why is this an important issue?

Following the considerable procurement activity required with the previous Affordable Housing Supply Programme (AHSP), the Scottish Government’s Housing to 2040 strategy and the increased ambition to deliver 110,000 affordable homes by 2032 – with at least 70% for social rent, will again challenge housing associations to deliver value for money compliant procurement solutions.

My team will be delivering the Scottish Government Procurement and Commercial Improvement Programme (PCIP) as part of the continuous improvement cycle that supports the housing strategy. The PCIP assesses the procurement capability of associations and identifies savings, policy and other social, economic and environmental benefits. 

Procurement can be an enabler, and the last PCIP programme (2017–2019) highlighted areas where housing associations deliver real benefit back to their communities and showcased a lot of the good work that is done within the sector. Weaknesses highlighted in the previous PCIP programme should be taken as an opportunity for improvement and some associations have demonstrated this over the past three years.

As the sector faces many challenges following the pandemic, the PCIP assessment can provide a valuable support to associations in making informed, compliant and robust procurement decisions and should be embraced as a transformational undertaking.  

What does Scotland's social housing sector need to be able to achieve the Scottish Government's target of 110,000 affordable homes by 2032?

From a purely procurement perspective, I think the Procurement and Commercial Improvement Programme (PCIP) can identify gaps and areas for improvement that will allow housing associations to position themselves in a much stronger way regarding procurement. The assessment, and any follow up, can help identify opportunities for future construction methods, develop specifications that challenge existing barriers, signpost, and embrace innovation that provides long-term solutions for their communities. Training will play a key role in developing staff to meet this challenge and SFHA has always played a major role in this for the sector.

What do you think our homes will look like by 2040?

Procurement should always be part of the leadership discussions that shape the future as affordability, contracting and innovation play a vital part of any development cycle.

Secure your place

Time is running out to book your place for our Development Conference, which is taking place next Tuesday (15 March) at Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh. 

If you are planning on attending the conference, please book one of our remaining places as soon as possible, via the SFHA Live! section of our website, to avoid disappointment.  

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