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Social Housing Resilience Group weekly update: 10 July

Update on the SHRG's work and key issues.

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The Social Housing Resilience Group (SHRG) was convened by SFHA in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

As well as SFHA, the SHRG comprises Scottish Government, Public Health Scotland, Scottish Housing Regulator, Wheatley Group, Glasgow and West of Scotland Forum of Housing Associations, Chartered Institute of Housing Scotland, and Association of Local Authority Chief Housing Officers.

It aims to deal with the significant challenges the outbreak is causing so that social landlords can continue to provide the support their tenants and communities need.

The latest updates on the SHRG's work are as follows:

  • A letter to tenants from the Housing Minister was published and distributed on 8 July. The letter discusses, amongst other things, RSL plans to resume repairs services and examples of support services available to help tenants e.g. financial support.
  • SHR reported initial findings from the third round of its data return which highlights progress being made across the sector. It is expected that a fuller discussion of the next dashboard will be able to take place at next week’s meeting.
  • The SHRG has collected evidence regarding the ability of landlords to meet deadlines with regards to fire safety, electrical testing, and EESSH. A letter from the Housing Minister regarding these issues, setting out the Scottish Government’s position on flexibilities, has now been sent to all RSLs.
  • The variation in testing practices across the country was highlighted. This feedback has been taken on board by Public Health Scotland and Health Protection Scotland.
  • Examples of good practice, challenges and solutions in regards to the housing sector's response to Covid-19 are being submitted and sought through Open Space.
  • The SHRG agreed that it will feed into the government’s response to recommendations by the Advisory Group on Economic Recovery.
  • A discussion took place on the recently established Social Renewal Advisory Board, of which SFHA Chief Executive Sally Thomas is a member. Chaired by Cabinet Secretaries Aileen Campbell and Shirley Anne Sommerville, this expert advisory board has been established to drive progress towards a fairer, more equal Scotland in the wake of the pandemic. A number of different policy ‘circles’ will feed directly into the board, making recommendations for social renewal which will enable real and lasting change. Sally will chair the housing-specific circle, alongside Jon Sparkes of Crisis, and will ensure alignment between this and the work of the SHRG.
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